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Birth of rhino calf melts hearts across SA

Kragga Kamma Game Park in Port Elizabeth welcomed a rhino calf at the weekend. Here she is seen nursing from her mother, Bembi.
SAY AAAH: Kragga Kamma Game Park in Port Elizabeth welcomed a rhino calf at the weekend. Here she is seen nursing from her mother, Bembi.
Image: KRAGGA KAMMA GAME PARK FACEBOOK PAGE

The birth of a rhino calf — a descendant of Bella, a rhino that was poached in Port Elizabeth less than two years ago — has been welcomed at Kragga Kamma Game Park.

“Having a new little calf born here certainly goes a long way to healing the hurt,” the owners of the park announced on their Facebook page at the weekend.

The not-so-little girl was born on Friday — an exciting discovery made by two lucky guests on a self game drive.

They then quickly alerted park management.

And at just two days old, with her legs still wobbly, the adorable new addition is thriving and photographs posted on social media of her nursing, trying to stand and even having a poo have captured the hearts of animal lovers countrywide, with messages of adoration flooding in.

The new addition is the daughter of Bembi, who was left orphaned when her mother Bella was poached in June 2018, just six days after she had been dehorned.

Park co-owner Ayesha Canter said added security had since been implemented at the park to protect their rhinos.

From “Karma” to “Beatrice” and even “Skye”, fans of Kragga Kamma Game Park have flooded social media with suggestions for a name.

Bembi had at the time of Bella's poaching been nursing her own calf, Bonnie, but took Bella’s orphan, Tank, in as her own and nursed him too.

“She is indeed a supermom!” the park’s post said. 

Following the initial post, the Kragga Kamma Game Park posted two further sets of photographs, one which showed the new addition was a girl and another cute post of the little lass setting about her ablutions. 

The photographs were shared hundreds of times with members of the public swooning over the new “celebrity”. 

We have the most delightful news to share with you... Guests Monique le Grange and husband were on a self drive in the...

Posted by Kragga Kamma Game Park on Friday, 3 January 2020

Susan Ochse posted: “She is so tiny. We saw her yesterday. Was a big treat.” 

Arenda van der Merwe wrote: “We were there today ... so heartwarming to see how beautiful the new pink feet are and mommy and even daddy taking good care of the family member.” 

Bella’s story touched hearts across the nation when she was killed just a week after she was dehorned by wildlife vet William Fowlds in an effort to protect her.  

 Bella, who was believed to have been shot with a high-calibre hunting rifle, was the ninth rhino to be killed by poachers when she was shot in 2018. 

Just a week before Bella’s death, a picture of a toddler gently kissing the sedated giant went viral. 

After she had been killed, the stump left after her dehorning was brutally hacked from her head. 

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