When rescuers finally found her, Nandi was in bad shape.
The white rhino was only two months old, and her mother had been shot and killed by poachers, who illegally and cruelly kill these endangered animals to sell their horns.
At her age, Nandi still needed to nurse every few hours, and in her desperation for food, she’d started eating sand. She was rescued just in time.
When she arrived, Nandi “drank her milk straight away,” the Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation (WHWF), which supports the orphanage, said. “Unfortunately when young orphans are alone they tend to eat anything, including harmful sand due to hunger.”
Nandi’s caretaker, Jamie Traynor, carefully monitored Nandi during those iffy first hours she was at the orphanage. And soon Nandi proved to be quite a little fighter.
“We have just returned from the orphanage where we delivered much-needed meds and supplies for the caregivers and rangers who treat and protect the babies,” Paul Oxton, founder and director of WHWF, told The Dodo.
When Oxton saw her, Nandi had already made huge strides toward recovery.
“She’s a little rhino with a big attitude and has given Jamie many bruises already,” the organization wrote about the playful relationship between Nandi and her caregiver.
After just a few weeks at the orphanage, the sad and scared orphan has transformed into a boisterous little rhino — who loves to be close to her favorite person.