Little Rhinos Cuddle Together During Very Scary Thunderstorm
Two little black rhinos, Storm and Nandi, tend to cuddle together when things get scary.
And just the other night at Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa, a torrential downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning chilled little Nandi, who snuggled up to Storm. Meanwhile, Storm was taking the storm in stride while providing the comfort his little friend needed.
"We find that the calves who have been through traumatic poaching incidents tend to be more scared of the dark and storms - things that under normal circumstances, would be a normal part of living in the wild," Karen Trendler said in a post on Thula Thula's Facebook page.
The slightly older rhinos at the orphanage, though, absolutely love the muddy aftermath of storms.
Once they're old enough, Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage releases orphaned rhinos together into the game reserve, which is guarded day and night by rangers to protect these rare animals from poachers.
The rhino community suffers many threats to its well-being. Because of poaching, populations have plummeted in recent years, and 2015 may very well have been the worst year ever for rhinos. Last year, 1,215 rhinos perished in South Africa. Poachers are after rhino horn, a keratin substance wrongly thought to have healing powers, which racks up a lot of cash in Asian markets.
As she grows older, hopefully little Nandi is learning that storms pass, but the protection provided by friendship - human and animal - lasts forever.