Abandoned baby zebra Shaq rescued by Rhino Orphanage

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Baby Shaq is being cared for by The Rhino Orphanage in South Africa's Limpopo Province. 
Baby Shaq is being cared for by The Rhino Orphanage in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. © The Rhino Orphanage

A young zebra foal found abandoned in the bush with a broken leg in South Africa has been taken in by The Rhino Orphanage, a specialist centre that cares for orphaned and injured baby rhinos.

The three-week old foal, who has been name Shaq, weighs 27kg and drinks 250ml of milk every two hours.

Shaq is being fed every two hours by carers. 
Shaq is being fed every two hours by carers. © The Rhino Orphanage

A carer is with him full-time to help support his broken hind leg, which has been put in a cast. He is getting daily exercise with his carer to help him strengthen.

It is not known how he came to be alone and injured, but his rescuers suspect poaching.

Shaq has learned to walk with his cast while his broken leg heals. 
Shaq has learned to walk with his cast while his broken leg heals. © The Rhino Orphanage

The Rhino Orphanage was founded in the Limpopo Province, in the country’s north, by Arrie van Deventer in 2012. The orphanage’s aim to to release orphaned or injured rhino calves back into the wild once they are ready. It was created as a consequence of the poaching crisis which feeds the illegal trade in horns.

Human contact is restricted to prevent the imprinting of rhinos to humans and in the future turn them into problem animals when in adulthood.

Shaq has 250ml of milk at every meal.
Shaq has 250ml of milk at every two-hourly meal. © The Rhino Orphanage

The orphanage has several enclosures depending on the level of human interaction needed, from ICU and overnight rooms with infrared lights and air conditioning, to enclosures of different sizes where there is natural vegetation, mud wallows and other wild animals. It also has special transport trailers ready for emergency responses.

The Rhino Orphanage will soon be registered with the South African Veterinary Council as a veterinary facility.

Shaq takes a nap with one of his carers.
Shaq takes a nap with one of his carers. © The Rhino Orphanage
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