Rhino Who Lost His Mom Finds The Softest Place To Sleep
When you're a baby, sometimes you just really need a nap. And there's no better place to sleep than near someone you know will keep you safe.
Laura Ellison, a veterinary nurse at The Rhino Orphanage in South Africa, recently shared a clip of her and a young orphan rhino named Kabelo. It's pretty clear Kabelo is all tuckered out, and he drifts off to sleep with his heavy head on her stomach, eventually stretching up to cuddle into her arm.
"Really, I'm just his pillow," she wrote.
Of course, rhinos, elephants and other wild animals can never really be tame - and shouldn't be treated as such. But when animals like Kabelo are orphaned - he lost his mother to poachers - humans often have to step in to fulfill the close bonds they would normally be forming with their mothers.
"I have been with Kabelo since his arrival to the orphanage and we have developed such a strong bond," Ellison wrote. "While Kabelo is so comfortable with me, he is not with many others."
"Please appreciate that he is still a wild animal," she added. "But also with the capacity to love so forgivingly. Humans took his mother and for him to trust me the way he does is incredibly bittersweet. Rhinos deserve a life with their mothers without human interference."
If all goes well, Kabelo will be released into the wild once he's old enough. In the meantime, Ellison will continue serving as both a pillow and friend.
"His capacity to love and the pure gentleness of that love will always take my breath away," she wrote beneath another video of the pair. "If only all humans could learn something from rhinos, we'd live in a much better world."
Want to help Kabelo and the other orphaned rhinos he lives with? You can make a donation to The Rhino Orphanage here.