Baby hippo raised by rhinos melts hearts when he meets another hippo

Sometimes, animals from different species form tight bonds. It can be sweet to see these animals that are similar but different getting along so well.

That’s just what happened with two pachyderm babies who fell in love.

In KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, you can find the Zululand Rhino Orphanage, the only dedicated orphanage in the area.

They house numerous rescue rhinoceros, each of which has its own story of how they ended up an orphan in the wild.

One of them is the rhino named Makhosi, a female white rhino who was rescued when rangers found out that she was having trouble surviving two days after being born.

Since the Zululand Rhino Orphanage doesn’t only focus on saving horned pachyderms, there are also some rescued African Hippopotamuses in their conservatory.

A particular hippo named Charlie was saved by a rescuer from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife who noticed that the hippo was born prematurely and was not able to drink milk from its mother because of the drought.

Charlie was housed at the conservatory earlier than Makhosi.

However, when Makhosi joined the family, they immediately fell in love with each other.

They were the sweetest pair in that conservatory and you could see how much they love each other.

Both of them had gone through harsh situations.

The orphanage knew that both of them needed the best comfort they could give so they decided to introduce them to each other.

Charlie unexpectedly became friends with Makhosi, and they were both adorable. The orphaned pachyderms developed a bond so strong that it was hard to separate them.

You could see one around the other all the time, especially when it was time for their naps; they always snuggled next to each other.

The same goes for their other activities like playing, eating, and even being bathed with a hose.

Therefore, you could say that Charlie and Makhosi just learned how to live alongside each other without any problems.

Ever since Charlie met Makhosi, he started to forget how to act as one of his own.

The only problem with this was Charlie started to become more rhino-like than being himself.

He forgot the habits and the ingrained traits that every hippo should have.

“He couldn’t understand why he needed to get in the water but the rhinos wouldn’t go in with him,” says Megan Lategan, the manager of the orphanage.

Charlie grew up acting like a rhinoceros since there are no hippos like him to learn from, and it became hard for the orphanage to release him in the wild while being in that state.

Luckily, the orphanage welcomed another hippo that was just perfect to introduce to Charlie.

Her name was Moomin.

It took more than 20 hours to drive her to the orphanage after her rescuers found her huddled up next to her mother’s body.

When Moomin reached the orphanage, it took a while to carefully introduce her to Charlie.

In just three days, the hippos were able to find a strong connection with each other.

Over time, Moomin managed to teach Charlie the basics of being a hippo.

Charlie and Mahkosi’s bond remained strong despite him being with Moomin most of the time.

The hippos hung out more than ever so that Charlie could finally become a hippo himself, but he couldn’t forget about his first friend, Mahkosi.

While the pair still have love for each other, they’ve now gone their separate ways.

Mahkosi has been released back into the wild, where she’s thriving.

The sanctuary is hoping to release Moomin and Charlie soon too.

They don’t know exactly where yet, but they know they’ll be released together. Charlie will never have to worry about saying goodbye to his soulmate.

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