A tiny hippo called Charlie thought he’d never have a friend or someone by his side. When he was only a few days old, his whole family abandoned him. A baby this young had no chance to survive. His life depended on the family that left him behind… Fortunately for him, a team of rescuers from Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage got him to their facility to help him recover and grow stronger.
Charlie the hippo never thought he’d have a home and also find his best friend, a tiny rhino.
20. Baby Charlie
When the hippo was only a few days old, his family in South Africa left him behind. But the kind people at the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage were notified and immediately went to take him back to the facility…
19. A Rough Start
The baby hippo was in a critical condition. He was peeing through his umbilical cord, and if he kept doing it for more time, the vets were prepared to put him through a complicated surgery.
18. He Did it!
Luckily, the hippo pulled it through and things resolved on their own. Charlie was also feeling better than the first time rescuers saw him. Karen Trendler is his personal caretaker, who took him on his morning walks…
17. He’s a Brave Little Guy!
Even if Charlie had a rough start, he would soon get better and stronger at the orphanage. But what he wouldn’t know is that he’d also find his best friend there, and they will quickly become inseparable!
16. Recovering and Making Friends
Charlie was recovering, and he would soon find his best friend. In the wild, a tiny white rhino was struggling to survive. The team at Thula Thula was close by, ready to come to its aid…
15. Keeping Watch
On their Facebook page, Thula Thula wrote about a baby rhino that was too small and frail to reach and feed itself: ‘It wasn’t a decision taken lightly, and our vet observed the calf for a long time before deciding to intervene.’
14. They Had to Act Fast
‘The weight loss and deterioration in condition of the calf over 24 hours was dramatic. The calf would not have survived the night,’ explained the rescue team. They saw that the rhino mom wasn’t interested in her calf…
13. Losing Interest…
The Facebook post continued saying that ‘the mother was already starting to lose interest in the calf and only made a very half-hearted attempt to go to it.’ The tiny rhino had no chance all on her own.
12. The Calf Had No Chance
The team concluded that ‘given the circumstances, she would have abandoned it,’ so they took the baby rhino to the orphanage. The sick animal needed urgent medical care, so the team carried her in the back of an ambulance!
11. Meeting Charlie
But she was so distressed that she needed to stay with someone to calm her. Karen Trendler, Charlie’s caretaker, took a chance. She thought Charlie would help the baby rhino – who they named Makhosi.
10. An Instant Bond
‘By 3 am the calf wasn’t settling, and I took a chance and dropped the barrier between rhino and hippo – instant bond and Makhosi settled,’ said Trendler in a Facebook update on the rhino’s health.
9. Cuddling Away
Not even five minutes passed since Charlie and Makhosi met, that they immediately started to cuddle and nap together. Trendler was utterly surprised that these animals have instantly bonded!
8. Inseparable Ever Since
‘In a very short time the rhino and hippo calf have become inseparable, providing comfort and company to one another,’ wrote Trendler about Charlie and Makhosi. Her next words made us cry…
7. The Will to Live
Trendler said that it was the hippo that saved Makhosi’s life: ‘Charlie has really helped to give tiny Makhosi the will to live.’ These babies might be from different species, but they sure love each other no matter what!
6. Together Forever
And when Charlie got pneumonia, Makhosi stood by his side. With the care received from the rescuers, Charlie pulled through another hardship. You won’t believe how he started to behave when he grew so close to Makhosi!
5. A Beautiful Story
We all love stories like this one with a happy ending, but this one is far from over! These tiny guys continued to grow and remain friends through the years, and that’s not all!
4. Best Friends Ever
Charlie and Makhosi will continue to grow together and remain friends, but the staff at the orphanage is also planning to make the babies socialize with members of their species. It’s what’s best for them…
3. I’m Also a Rhino
Both Charlie and Makhosi were transferred to another rescue center. The caretakers hoped to release each of them into the wild when the time came… But Charlie thought he was a rhino! It would soon change, though!
2. Introducing Moomin
A young female hippo orphan called Moomin came from over 1,000 km away to meet Charlie. They immediately fell in love, and Charlie even found out how to be a hippo! What about Makhosi?
1. She’s Still Around!
Don’t get sad, because Makhosi is still around Charlie, spending time with the pair! The last update about the trio was posted on the Dodo’s Odd Couples page, gathering over 6.6 million views in just a few days!
Well, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love to see these cute guys cuddling and playing together?