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Starving baby rhino nudges dead mother after poachers hacked off her horn

Georgia Diebelius

Starving baby rhino nudges dead mother after poachers hacked off her horn
More than one million people have now viewed the harrowing footage online. (Picture: Magnus News/ Rhino911)

Heart-breaking footage captured the moment a starving baby rhino nudge at its dead mother for milk after she was killed for her horn.

The video, which was taken just last week in a national park in South Africa, by the rescue charity Rhino 911, recorded the calf calling for its mother.

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Rescuers think that she had been slaughtered just hours earlier and then had both her horns hacked off.

Despite calves having no horn, they are often shot too or paralysed by the killers because they disturb the process by desperately cling to their mother.

In this case, Lottie, as she has been named, survived.

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Starving baby rhino nudges dead mother after poachers hacked off her horn
Rescuers think that she had been slaughtered just hours earlier and then had both her horns hacked off. (Picture: Magnus News/ Rhino911)

More than one million people have now viewed the harrowing footage online.

Because of a now natural fear of humans Lottie had to be blindfolded and sedated during a rescue mission.

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She was so small she was able to be bundled into the back of an SUV by Rhino 911.

Since being orphaned she is only now able to take milk and she will face a long road to recovery.

The location of the attack has not been revealed for fear of encouraging more poachers.

Once on the black market rhino horn can make the poacher £10,000 a horn.

Starving baby rhino nudges dead mother after poachers hacked off her horn
Since being orphaned she is only now able to take milk and she will face a long road to recovery. (Picture: Magnus News/ Rhino911)

Helicopter pilot Nico Jacobs, from the charity Rhino 911, said Lottie’s tragedy was even more worrying because it happened right in the middle of a 220 square-mile park where it is usually harder for poachers to reach.

He said: ‘We had a call from the head of some of the rhinos in this park who quite by coincidence spotted this calf walking alone and dehydrated.

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‘She immediately alerted me and I was able to find the mum and see what was wrong, because it was not normal for a baby to be on their own. It’s completely abnormal.

‘When I got there, we found the mum shot dead in the ravine and with both her horns hacked off.

‘Fortunately for us the baby had gone back to its mum and we were able to immediately alert the vet and to take it to safety.’

Nico said the baby was just a month old and that same night lions were already on the mothers carcass, so the youngster would not have stood a chance.

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He said: ‘We’ve lost now 11 rhinos in the last four weeks, in that specific park.

‘It’s usually very difficult for them to be to poach in the middle of the park and then leave without us getting hold of them, so this is worrying.

‘I think they are hiding out in the mountains at night and then doing these killings early in the morning which is the time when that cow was shot.’

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