Species: White Rhino

Gender: Female

Born: May 2016

This tiny little 2 day old female white rhino calf was rescued when it was noticed that at two days after her birth, her weight dropped dramatically, and she was noticeably weaker. With careful monitoring, it was determined that Mahkosi was so small that she unable to suckle from her mother and without human intervention would not survive if left in the wild.

She was captured and transported to the Rhino Orphanage, the team stopped at a garage in Pongola and were approached by the Zulu Royal family who expressed interest in the calf (we were busy setting up drips and trying to stabilize her condition in the back of the vets vehicle). Queen Zwelethini named and blessed Makhosi in the name of the Zulu Royal family; and in the fight against rhino poaching.

Mahkosi was a very small rhino with a lot of challenges and is believed to be a ‘drought baby’. Kwazulu Natal is experiencing one of the worst droughts in years. During severe drought, the placenta may provide inadequate nutrition to the growing foetus and the calf may be born small and with some health challenges. But with the correct and careful nursing and care, these calves can survive and thrive. In a poaching crisis, when numbers are dropping, every calf counts.

On arrival Mahkosi was put into the same room as hippo Charlie but with a barrier between the two. By 3 am Mahkosi wouldn’t settle and we took a chance and took down the barrier. Mahkosi walked straight over to Charlie, they touched noses, lay down together and have been inseparable since. In those early days they provided each other with the much needed comfort and companionship. But now that they are older they have been paired with their own species so they can learn to adapt to a wild environment surrounded by their own kind.