A dog in South Africa has struck up an unlikely friendship with an a.b.a.n.doned baby giraffe that was rescued and taken to the local orphanage where he works as a guard dog.
Jazz the nine-day-old giraffe arrived at The Rhino Orphanage in Limpopo Province, South Africa, after a farmer discovered him s.tru.gg.ling weak and dehydrated in the wild without a mother, and called the centre for help.
Resident watchdog Hunter, a young Belgian Malinois, quickly began to care for the newcomer, befriending his long-necked doppelganger.
Janie Van Heerden, a caretaker at the orphanage three hours North of Johannesburg, said that the animals bonded immediately, with Hunter snuggling into the giraffe’s body as if it was another dog.
She said the baby giraffe is now doing much better after being given an IV to replace lost fluids as well as guzzling down the milk and even attempting to munch some leaves.
Sadly for Hunter his cuddle buddy Jazz, perhaps more comfortable than the Rhinos at the orphanage, may not be with him to stay as keepers intend to reintroduce him into his natural habitat when he’s strong enough.
Speaking today Ms Heerden added: ‘Possibly soon [the giraffe] will be able to go home [to the wild]’.
The exact location of the Rhino Orphanage can not be given due to p.oa.c.hers.
Hunter, a young Belgian Malinois, keeps an eye on Jazz, a nine-day-old giraffe, at the Rhino orphanage in the Limpopo province of South Africa, Friday Nov. 22 2019
Hunter snuggles into Jazz, the nine-day-old giraffe, as if she is another dog. Both Hunter and his brother have become fond of the giraffe
Hearts may be broken when the two are separated as keepers intend to return the giraffe to its rightful place
Janie Van Heerden feeds Jazz, a nine-day-old giraffe at the Rhino orphanage in the Limpopo province of South Africa, Friday Nov. 22 2019
The young pair relax together on a blanket in the Rhino orphanage. Jazz will grow to be many times the size of Hunter
Hunter keeps a look out as Jazz snoozes in his corner on a mattress. Baby giraffes can drink cows milk at an incredible rate – up to 12 pints a day
Unlike baby primates, he does not need to be fed at night, which makes looking after the orphan much less of a chore for keepers
In just three or four years Jazz will be full grown. In just a month the giraffe could reach a hefty ten stone
Orphanage worker Janie Van Heerden looks on at the Rhino orphanage in the Limpopo province of South Africa Friday Nov. 22 2019
Rescued animals must not become too familiar with humans or they can be difficult to introduce back into the wild, but the same is not said about dogs befriending them