After being rescued as orphans in the wild, a rhino and a zebra formed an unlikely friendship.
Adorable photos show the ‘life-saving’ friendship of seven-month-old rhino Daisy and zebra Modjadji, who were both rescued by a South African orphan animal sanctuary.
Daisy and Modjadji, which means “rain queen,” were both rehabilitated at the Care For Wild animal sanctuary in the Barberton Nature Reserve near South Africa’s border with Eswatini.
On their Instagram page, the sanctuary has posted regular pictures and video updates about the pair’s recovery and a budding friendship.
During their lengthy stay in ICU, the inseparable friends were frequently photographed cuddling up to each other, and videos show them going for walks and eating dinner together.
‘This little orphan zebra has been a life saver, always there for her rhino friend,’ read an appreciation post for Modjaji in January.
‘Modjadji is still a child.’ She is just over eight weeks old and drinks milk every three hours around the clock.
‘After being discovered alone and barely alive after heavy rains and storms, Modjadji was taken to ICU.
‘She was critically ill and had severe anaemia when she received a blood transfusion from another zebra, which saved her life.’
‘Now that she’s a lot stronger, Modjadji watches over our littlest rhino orphan, and we adore her!’
Daisy was discovered less than a month after her companion Modjadji during a routine operation in the Kruger National Park in early December.
She was still wet from the womb at 12 hours old, and her umbilical cord was still attached.
Daisy couldn’t stand, had a “dreadful umbilical infection,” and was extremely weak and vulnerable.
For several months, the baby rhino received round-the-clock care in the Intensive Care Unit and received a plasma transfusion to boost her immune system.
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Daisy turned seven months old on July 9, and the sanctuary posted on Instagram: ‘On this date 7 months ago, the tiniest of rhino calves landed at Care For Wild’s helipad.
‘She took her first steps in the intensive care unit. The months that followed would be some of the most difficult and difficult we had ever faced.
‘Daisy put us and the vets through a learning experience like no other.
‘Despite her sample size, she climbed into the hearts of thousands of people all over the world with her dinosaur ears, droopy lips, and survival instinct.’
‘She has raised international awareness about the plight of rhinos and will always have a special place in our hearts.’
‘One day, she will be old and strong enough to participate in the rewilding and release program.’ For the time being, she has a long road ahead of her, but she is definitely galloping in the right direction!’
While Daisy and Modjadji remain close, Care For Wild stated that the long-term goal is “a successful release back into their natural ecosystems with their own species.”
‘While Daisy will eventually join the other orphaned rhinos and Modjadji will return to a herd of zebras, their unique friendship will always be a vital part of their rehabilitation journey,’ the sanctuary said.
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