Relax, Charlie's got your back

20 May 2016 - 08:24 By MATTHEW SAVIDES

An unlikely friendship is forming at the Thula Thula game reserve - and it's a relationship that could save the life of a baby rhino.On Tuesday two-day-old white rhino calf Makhosi was brought into the northern KwaZulu-Natal reserve's rhino orphanage after being born premature.She was too small to reach her mom's teat and vet Mike Toft realised he had to step in or the calf would not survive the night.Makhosi was rushed to the rhino orphanage, said operations manager Karen Trendler, and the situation did not look good.But the solution - a baby hippo named Charlie - was just a few metres away."By 3am Makhosi wasn't settling. I took the chance and dropped the barrier between them. They struck an instant bond and the calf settled."They have become inseparable," said Trendler.The two are already starting to play together - which will help them both to get back to full strength.According to Trendler, Makhosi was likely born at below average weight and size because of the drought, or due to a problem with her mother. She is "okay" and still in the wild.

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