Rhino lost his mother – level 3
Just a baby, but this rhino is already suffering from the trauma he’s seen in his short life. The four-month-old rhino, known as Gertjie, refuses to sleep on his own after witnessing the brutal murder of his mother by poachers.
He was rescued from the wild last month by staff at an endangered species centre in South Africa after he was found next to his mother’s body, crying inconsolably. Staff said it was a devastating sight, as he would not leave her side.
Gertjie is now recovering at the centre, but has been unable to sleep alone after the ordeal, so the team take it in turns to feed the animal every three hours and sleep outside his room.
The centre is now appealing for donations to help keep enough fat-free milk in stock, as baby rhinos are only weaned off milk when they’re over a year old. Staff says he will be cared for until he is ready to be re-introduced into a wildlife reserve.
Difficult words: poacher (somebody who illegally catches or kills animals), endangered species (animals which may die out soon), inconsolably (so sad that it is impossible for anyone to comfort you), ordeal (terrible situation), appeal (ask), weaned off (not given anymore).
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