Baby rhinos and zebras become best friends at an animal sanctuary in South Africa after being orphaned

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A rhino and a zebra have struck up an unlikely friendship after being rescued as orphans in the wild.

Adorable footage shows the ‘saving’ friendship between rhino Daisy and seven-month-old zebra Modjadji, who were both rescued by an orphan animal sanctuary in South Africa.

Daisy and Modjadji, whose name means ‘rain queen’, were both cared for at the Care For Wild animal sanctuary in Barberton Nature Reserve, near South Africa’s border with Eswatini.

The shrine shared regular image and video updates of the couple’s recovery and budding friendship on their Instagram page.

The inseparable friends have often been photographed cuddling during their long time in intensive care, while videos show them sharing walks and dinners together.

Modjadji’s love and hugs have been described as “life-saving” for little Daisy, who arrived at the sanctuary in very poor condition.

Baby zebra Modjaji, herself just a few weeks old, stayed by Daisy’s side during her long recovery in intensive care at Care For Wild animal sanctuary. Photographed here in January

Care For Wild animal sanctuary in Barberton Nature Reserve near the South African border with Eswatini shares regular friendship updates from Daisy (left) and Modjadji (right).  This June Instagram post was captioned:

Care For Wild animal sanctuary in Barberton Nature Reserve near the South African border with Eswatini shares regular friendship updates from Daisy (left) and Modjadji (right). This June Instagram post was captioned, “Why do these two always look like they’re not doing anything right!” The post celebrated the release of the two animals from intensive care after six months

A post of appreciation for Modjaji in January read: ‘This little orphan zebra has been a lifesaver, always there for his rhino friend.

“Modjadji is still a baby herself. Just over eight weeks old, she also drinks milk every three hours, 24 hours a day.

“Found alone and barely alive after heavy rains and storms, Modjadji was taken to intensive care.

“Extremely weakened and suffering from severe anemia, she received a blood transfusion from another zebra which saved her life.

“Now much stronger, Modjadji watches over our little orphan rhinoceros and we love her so much!”

The couple is

The couple have been ‘inseparable’ since they met last December, taking walks, drinking their milk together and cuddling up at bedtime

Daisy and Modjadji (pictured in January) will eventually find their own kind, but

Daisy and Modjadji (pictured in January) will eventually be reunited with their own species, but ‘their unique friendship will always be a vital part of their recovery journey,’ the sanctuary said.

Care For Wild said Daisy and Modjadji

Care For Wild said Daisy and Modjadji “just love their milk” which they receive every two to three hours throughout the day and night.

Found less than a month after her companion Modjadji, Daisy was rescued during a routine operation in Kruger National Park in early December.

At just 12 o’clock, she was still wet from the womb and her umbilical cord was still attached.

Daisy was unable to stand, had a “nasty umbilical infection” and was extremely weak and vulnerable.

The baby rhino received a plasma transfusion to boost his immune system and was cared for around the clock in the intensive care unit for several months.

Daisy was rescued when she was just 12 hours old during a routine operation in Kruger National Park in early December.  Pictured, at seven days old, being fed her bottle of milk every two hours

Daisy was rescued when she was just 12 hours old during a routine operation in Kruger National Park in early December. Pictured, at seven days old, being fed her bottle of milk every two hours

When Daisy turned seven months old on July 9, the sanctuary shared the following message on her Instagram: “On this date, 7 months ago, the tiniest rhino landed on the Care For Wild helipad.

“She took her first steps in intensive care. The months that followed were some of the hardest and most difficult we have ever known.

“Daisy has taken us and the vets on a learning curve like never before.

“Despite her sample size, she soared into the hearts of thousands around the world with her dinosaur ears, droopy lips and resilience to survive.

“She has raised awareness of the plight of rhinos internationally and will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

Modjadji, who herself had a difficult start to life, took Daisy under her wing in intensive care.  Pictured: Modjadji in June, enjoying the last warm rays of the winter sun before the cold night ahead

Modjadji, who herself had a difficult start to life, took Daisy under her wing in intensive care. Pictured: Modjadji in June, enjoying the last warm rays of the winter sun before the cold night ahead

“One day she will be old enough and strong enough to participate in the release and release program. For now, she has a long way to go but she is certainly galloping in the right direction!

Care For Wild said while Daisy and Modjadji remain very close, the long-term goal “is successful release into their natural ecosystems with their own species.”

The sanctuary said: “While Daisy will eventually join the other orphaned rhinos and Modjadji will return to a herd of zebras, their unique friendship will always be a vital part of their rehabilitation journey.”

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