Orphaned baby rhino and zebra become best friends at sanctuary

Everybody needs a friend they can rely on, including animals. It’s always heartwarming to see two creatures in need of love form such close bonds — especially when it’s between animals of different species.

That was the story for a rhino and a zebra, who became best friends after being rescued by a sanctuary.

In November, workers from Care For Wild Rhino Sanctuary found a baby zebra who was abandoned on the reserve during heavy rain storms.

Louwhen Bowker, a media contact for the park, told The Dodo that the zebra was “motionless and barely breathing,” and only about a week old. While they primarily care for rhinos, they couldn’t help but take the abandoned zebra into their care, and named her Modjadji.

While the young zebra was a bit out-of-place at the rhino sanctuary, she quickly bonded with the rhinos.

A baby rhino named Aquazi was also found in the rain weeks later, and the two kindred spirits quickly formed a bond while in the ICU together.

“These two rain babies love spending their day together,” Care for Wild wrote. “Whilst Modjadji is already grazing on grass, little Aquazi is still a bit young but he has begun to nibble and investigate the sweet shoots that his friend is so interested in.”

Eventually, Aquazi got better and left the ICU. But Modjadji quickly found a new rhino friend who needed her love even more.

In December, Care for Wild discovered a rhino calf who was only 12 hours old. She was unable to stand, incredibly weak and still had an umbilical cord attached.

It’s likely that the rhino was orphaned. She was found during a reported surge of rhino babies, following a spike in poaching in December.

They took the poor animal into their care, cautioning that she had a long road ahead. They named the rhino Daisy.

Once Daisy arrived at the sanctuary, it didn’t take long for Modjadji to take the orphaned rhino under her wing.

“As they grew stronger and braver, their curiosity got the best of them, and they started interacting with each other,” Bowker told The Dodo. “Rhinos are very social animals and require companionship. Modjadji is fantastic company for Daisy and very affectionate towards her.”

“Modjadji is amazing company for Daisy and very affectionate towards her,” Rachael Pfeiffer of the sanctuary told Newsweek.

“They cuddle together at night which gives Daisy comfort and security. She is a friend that can be with her 24/7 and this in turn helps to prevent too much human contact with Daisy.”

Despite their sad beginnings, Daisy and Modjadji have become quite playful, sometimes acting like a pair of mischievous young kids.

In one post, the sanctuary said that Modjadji showed her rhino buddy how to sneak into the milk preparing station, and the two have some fun pestering one of the workers.

“Nothing gets past these two!” Care for Wild wrote. “These two friends are becoming very mischievous…”

And with no mother to teach the young rhino how to act, the zebra has taken it upon herself to show her friend the ropes.

One video shows Modjadji teaching Daisy to graze, although the rhino “hasn’t quite mastered the art just yet.”

Eventually, these two best friends will start to go their separate ways: Modjadji will join a herd of zebras and Daisy will join the other rhinos.

But we know that they’ll always have a place in each other’s hearts. They showed each other love and friendship when they needed it the most.

What an adorable friendship. Sometimes love transcends species, and it’s clear these two orphaned animals really needed each other.

Share this heartwarming story if you love animals! ❤️