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Did you know that blankets play a vital role in the recovery of baby rhinos, especially those injured and traumatised by the experience of seeing poachers kill their mums? While in the wild it is mum’s body that which provides the warmth, orphaned babies need blankets to regulate their body temperature.
Thanks to a group called Blankets for Baby Rhinos, helpful tool is provided to caretakers who are looking after the sick and weak young calves.
Not only do blankets take over mum’s job of keeping a baby rhino warm, they also serve a number of other purposes. One of them is to keep injuries clean, which is a challenge when lying on bedding straw with a possibility to get debris into the animal’s wounds. Blankets also provide comfort and a feeling of security to orphans who’ve lost their families to poachers at a very young age. Having gone through such a terrible experience, love and comfort is what these babies truly need. Often rhinos become so attached to their blankets that they take them along wherever they go. Doesn’t that remind you of a human baby toting around a bedraggled blanket or a tattered teddy? Guess babies are babies, whichever species we’re taking about.
Last month, baby rhinos at an orphanage in South Africa, the Rhino Revolution, received gifts made by members of a group called Blankets for Baby Rhinos. One of the group’s volunteers, Angie Goody, drove all the way from Pretoria in order to deliver blankets for five little orphans. Ringo, Ubuntu, Masingita, Chipoko and Nkonzo showed great interest in hand-knitted quilts, sniffing them and admiring the new material. Rhino Revolution orphanage intends to use the gift for future neonate calves. Blankets will not only provide comfort to the young babies, but also the caretakers sleeping with them.
A Facebook group Blankets for Baby Rhinos, initiated by a lady called Sue Brown, today counts hundreds of members who are knitting and donating blankets, or otherwise contributing squares which are then made into quilts. They call themselves “a wildlife conservation craft group”, and on top of providing blankets for orphaned baby rhinos, elephants, chimpanzees and monkeys, they also produce knitted toys which act as surrogate mums to these primate babies. Such initiatives prove that each and every one of us can contribute in one way or another to this worthy cause. All it takes a bit of good will.