African baby rhino orphaned by poachers

(CNN) – Babysitting a rhino is remarkably similar to babysitting a baby, a day-long cycle of eat, play, sleep, repeat.  With the occasional rather squeaky temper tantrum thrown in when he gets hungry.

Abandoned by his mother at two weeks old, Ringo was nearly dead when he was rescued by rangers at ol Pejeta conservancy in central Kenya, a major reserve for the endangered animal.

Now Ringo has several adopted parents who work round the clock to keep him safe and sleeping like a baby.

“Very, very sad, because of seeing Ringo, how I play with him, and then I just like thinking, what if Ringo was poached one day? I just imagine, but I say, it would be very sad for me.”

Ringo’s favorite time of day, say his keepers, is bath time.  They try to emulate exactly what would happen with his mother in the wild, he would wallow with her to avoid getting sunburned, and to just cool down a little.

However with his mom gone, this rare baby southern white rhino has found fatherly love in something even rarer.

Sudan is the only male northern white rhino left on the planet.  The hope is that Sudan will in turn teach Ringo to be more like a rhino, and less like a human and the baby rhino has taught the old one a thing or two.

“The fact that we now have a small rhino who is beginning to interact with him, is psychologically good for Sudan, certainly we’ve seen his demeanor and his appetite for life improve since Ringo appeared on the scene,” said Richard Vigne.

One isolated, the other abandoned the two rhinos have found companionship in one another.

Copyright CNN 2016

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