Lammie resting in the shade. photo: Fight for Rhinos
There are no limits to the variety of residents taken in at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. With a specialty in cheetahs, they also house a feisty zebra, retired circus lions and poaching survivors Dingle Dell and Lion’s Den.
But in 2014 a special little rhino was brought to the centre; Gertje, or little G, as he affectionately became known. The orphaned little rhino was traumatized after witnessing his mother brutally poached. Even with the diligent compassion and nurture from his human caregivers, he needed something more.
At 3 weeks of age, Lammie was brought to the Centre and introduced to Gertje. The unlikely duo quickly formed a bond, following each other by day, sleeping together in the evenings.
Not long after, Matimba, another orphaned rhino was rescued and introduced to the duo. Once again, without hesitation, Lammie welcomed the new orphan, the odd little family grew to three.
Feeding time means three heads often vying for the same bowl. Lammie seems to have no concept that she is somehow the smallest of the three. Photo: Fight for Rhinos
This last year has seen the family grow again, with the addition of orphan rhinos Stompie and Balu. And with the photos of the quartet, as always she is a familiar face never far off.
Gertje, Matimba, Stompie, Balu and Lammie. Photo: HESC
She is not partial to rhinos, as she recently showed with her mothering skills of Amanzi, the baby elephant.
Click photo for video. Lammie and Amanzi via Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
Lammie photo: Fight for Rhinos
The now 2 year old lamb has been an integral part to so many lives; part watchdog, part companion, part mother-she is a special girl; playing a larger role in the rehabilitation of her endangered companions.
Although she seems to have no idea. She is simply content with her share of the love, always there to “help” clear the food bowls and receive her pat on the head.