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Newborn Orphan Rhino Who Survived a Night in The Wild is Considered a Rescue Miracle

Rescue of Chamboi
Rescue of Chamboi

He was severely hypoglycemic, literally starving and on the verge of death, but little Chamboi the rhino was a fighter. The newborn calf was found by rangers near a waterhole in a National Park in Africa, alone, frightened and struggling. Investigations revealed how the poor tyke had survived a day in the wild without his mother. No one could tell if he was an orphan or abandoned, fortunately for Chamboi, mother nature had smiled kindly on him. He was rescued and taken to his new home.

Orphaned but strong: Chamboi’s discovery

Chamboi the rhino
Chamboi, the baby rhino. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

Orphaned as a newborn, Chamboi has become a symbol of resilience for a species with a troubled history. On 6th On the afternoon of September 6, 2023, KWS and Tsavo Trust rangers found a newborn rhino calf alone by a waterhole in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya.

His mother could not be found

baby rhino
Chamboi, alone and shaky. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

Chamboi was spotted in the free release area of Tsavo National Park, which is home to several black rhinos, but his mother could not be found. Rangers presumed her to be dead.

Chamboi’s discovery was a mystery

Baby rhino rescue
Chamboi, found by Park rangers. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

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Several theories exist as to why Chamboi was orphaned. Experts at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) Sanctuary felt that his mother might have intentionally abandoned him due to the dry challenging conditions at the time of his birth.

A Premature baby

baby rhino in sanctuary
A frail and tiny Chamboi. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

He was also a premature baby unable to nurse. This meant his mother would not have been able to produce enough milk, an added factor influencing her decision. Ohers felt perhaps a male rhino caused a disturbance that led to his abandonment.

A Vulnerable Start: Chamboi’s Early Days

little chamboi
A new beginning for Chamboi. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

Chamboi, just a day old was incredibly vulnerable when found. It was a miracle how the little calf had escaped the attention of hyenas, jackals, and other predators. Moreover, he was terribly shaky and suffering from hypoglycemia. Immediate intervention was crucial for his survival.

The Rescue Mission: A Race Against Time

Rhino rescue
A prompt rescue. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

A SWT helicopter was pressed into action conducting aerial patrols to find Chamboi’s mother, but after several hours of fruitless searching, she was nowhere to be found. It became clear a rescue was necessary. Chamboi desperately needed medical attention and nourishment, failing which he would die.

A New Home: Kaluku Neonate Nursery

Chamboi's new home
Chamboi’s new home. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

Chamboi was brought to the Kaluku Neonate Nursery within the Tsavo ecosystem. He was named Chamboi, after a mountain peak in Tsavo West, to give him a strong connection to his birthplace.

Thriving at Kaluku: Chamboi’s Growth

Rhino with caretaker
Chamboi with his caretaker. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

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From day one, Chamboi embraced his new life at Kaluku. His caretakers were the only family Chamboi had ever known, and he took them like a baby to their mother. Within a short time, Chamboi blossomed from a frail sickly calf to a huffing and puffing, mischievous juvenile rhino. In fact, he was quite the character

Rituals and Routines: Chamboi’s Daily Life

rescued rhino Chamboi
Chamboi is attached to his caretakers. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

Rhinos love rituals, and Chamboi is no exception. He enjoys propping his mattress over himself like a tent, reminiscent of the shelter his mother would have provided.

Health Challenges: Overcoming Early Struggles

Chamboi rhino
Chamboi fought stomach issues. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

Orphaned at a young age, Chamboi missed out on his mother’s colostrum, leading to stomach issues. Despite this, his strong feeding habits helped him recover. His resilience and will to survive was an inspiration, he was indeed a miracle.

Life at Kaluku: Friends and Family

rhino playing
he loved playing with his caretaker. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

Growing up among orphaned elephants, a giraffe named Twiggy, and other orphans, Chamboi mostly keeps to himself. Rhinos are solitary by nature, and his primary bond is with his Keepers. However, there were times when he socialized with the other babies.

Long walks and Mud baths

rhino playing
he loved playing with his caretaker. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

For Chamboi, his Keepers are everything. He sees them as his surrogate parents, following them with heartwarming loyalty and love. His days are a delightful mix of long walks, leisurely mud baths, midday naps, and playful afternoons.

Devastating Decline: The 1970s Poaching Crisis

rhino socializing
Chamboi curious about elephants. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

In Kenya, the black rhino population plummeted by 98 percent between 1970 and 1983, dropping from 20,000 to just 350 individuals.

Flourishing Past: Black Rhinos in Africa

rhino mud bath
Chamboi enjoying a mud bath. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

Once upon a time, black rhinos thrived across the African continent. But starting in the 1970s, rampant poaching began to decimate the population.

A Glimmer of Hope: Conservation Efforts

rhino play
Playtime with rhinos and elephants. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

Thanks to dedicated conservation efforts, black rhinos are making a tentative comeback. Kenya now boasts over 950 black rhinos, a significant increase from the dark days of the past.

Meet Apollo

Apollo
Apollo the rhino. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

Keeping Chamboi company sometimes was Apollo, another rhino rescued by the SWT in 2019. Apollo was rescued in 2019 after he was orphaned at 6 months old. Now 5 years old, Apollo’s  progress was extremely significant because he is one of only around 5,600 black rhino left in the world.  

Looking to the Future: Chamboi’s Journey Ahead

Miracle rhino
Chamboi, the miracle. Source: YouTube, Channel: Sheldrick Trust

The rehabilitation of rhinos and elephants cannot be rushed. This is why Chamboi will remain with his keepers at Kaluku for many years till he is ready to reclaim his position in the wild. That will depend on Chamboi, but for now, his life is secure and safe. He will receive plenty of love and care at the sanctuary run by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

The Sheldrick Wild Life Trust is one of Africa’s oldest wildlife charities and conservation organization dedicated to the conservation, preservation, and protection of wildlife in Africa.

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If you liked this heartwarming rescue, then you’re going to love this story too. Read:

Ex-Orphan Elephants Discover Tiny Baby Orphan and Lead Him to a Sanctuary for Safety

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