A rhino orphan with a severely injured foot has received a helping hand thanks to a custom boot which will help him heal faster.


Undisclosed Location – On the 7th of December the Rhino Orphanage received a 5-month-old Rhino Orphan from a private game reserve that appeared to have been attacked by Hyena. He was badly injured and a portion of his back foot had been gnawed off. He was left with only one toe.

The team quickly started treating all his wounds to prevent any further tissue damage. The vet felt positive about the treatment plan. The team slept next to him and Hunter, who became a great comfort for their rescue giraffe, once again stayed to keep the scared orphan company.

Hunter has proven to be more than just an anti-poaching dog, he has become a part of the team and always offers comfort to the new arrivals. The orphaned rhino’s temperature was very low and Hunter was spotted trying to cover the rhino in a blanket. The moment melted the heart of every single person who saw the video.

The next day the orphanage named the new arrival Kolisi because he is a little fighter! He became so spunky that Hunter had to leave just in case he got hurt.

“Our founder Arrie nicknamed this little guy Kolisi, after a humble and courageous man Siya Kolisi, who, despite early hardships, rose to greatness. We know this little rhino is going through a lot but he will rise to become a big strong bull one day. He sure has the personality to match.”

Mid-December the vet came to do all the big medical tests on Kolisi’s foot and found that most of the ligaments and muscle tissue were missing. His bones had also been displaced so the vet placed a cast over his foot to help them realign and heal.

As Kolisi started to heal, he became feistier, so much so that Dr Pierre had to wear cricket pads to protect her shins from his charges. As he settled in, he became easier to work with but still made it known vocally that he didn’t love human affections.

By the end of December (22 days after he arrived) 90% of Kolisi’s injury had started healing up. He had his cast removed a few times to check his progress and everyone was happy to see how fast the wound was closing up.

On the 4th of January, the orphanage was visited by two men from Animotion, an animal prosthetics company, who came to take measurements and moulds to give Kolisi a boot to help make his walking easier and his final healing quicker.

They went back today with the custom boot which was fitted to Kolisi’s foot.

“This new boot will mean comfortable, supported healing and much easier wound access and treatment. The casts we have done over the past month worked really well, but now that the tissues filled out, the casts put pressure on these tissues causing some of the new cells to die off. The new boot was manufactured with room around the wound areas to alleviate the pressure, making Kolisi a lot more comfortable. It also takes weight off the bottom of his foot and restricts overall movement to allow the growth of connective tissues around the bone that was exposed with his injury, a timely process.

So far it looks like our boy is happy and comfortable with his new addition and placed full weight on the boot minutes after the tranquillizer was reversed. Luan, Werner and the Team from Animotion you guys are amazing. Thank you so much for what you have done for this little rhino. You are now deservedly rhino heroes!”

Take a look at his first steps, he is a little drowsy from his meds but didn’t hesitate to get up and start walking.

Sources: The Rhino Orphanage Facebook
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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