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Orphanage works to save young, vulnerable rhinos

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 - 01:27

Oct. 31 - Baby rhinos left to die by poachers after killing their mothers for their horns, get rescued and rehabilitated at a special orphanage. Elly Park reports.

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It's feeding time for baby rhinos Pumba and Muffin. They're among the lucky few orphaned calves rescued and brought here - the world's first rhinoceros orphanage in South Africa which was created purely out of necessity says its director Pete Richardson. SOUNDBITE: Director of Sport, Public & Guest Relations at Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts, Pete Richardson Saying (English) "We created it out of a need for somebody to care for the real innocent victims of the war on rhino, rhino poaching in South Africa." What the poachers are after is this, the horn which is believed to have magical healing powers. It sells on the black market for $65,000 US dollars per kilogram making it far more valuable than gold. After they kill the mother, the poachers leave the hornless calves to die, who are much like human children, says keeper Victoria Horsley. SOUNDBITE: Rhino Carer, Victoria Horsley, saying (English) "When they first came in it breaks your heart, they call for mum and to see them go from that to being able to be re-released and to be part of the natural part of everything again is incredible." South African officials estimate that around 1,000 animals will be killed by poachers this year alone. Making it hard for this rhino facility to keep up, which is running close to full capacity just after a year of being launched.

Orphanage works to save young, vulnerable rhinos

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 - 01:27

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