160117. Cape Town. 8 year old Hunter Mitchell meeting the orhaned baby Rhino at Aquila Private Game Reserve near Touwsrivier today. Hunter managed to raise over R10k of funds for this little calf using social media. Hunter had the opertunity to take the calf for a walk, made him a mud bath to cool down in, and then learned how to prepare a bottle of special milk for Rhinos before it was time to go for a afternoon nap. Rangers and staff at Aquila Private Game Reserve in the western cape are ecstatic after the birth of their 4th rhino in 3 months. This latest calf was born at 09h05, 13th Jan 2016. The third calf, born in the early hours of New Year’s Eve had to be rescued from dehydration after being rejected by its mother. To further complicate matters the calf had attached itself to the father, who is very aggressive and he was making it impossible for Vets to get near the calf. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus
160117. Cape Town. 8 year old Hunter Mitchell meeting the orhaned baby Rhino at Aquila Private Game Reserve near Touwsrivier today. Hunter managed to raise over R10k of funds for this little calf using social media. Hunter had the opertunity to take the calf for a walk, made him a mud bath to cool down in, and then learned how to prepare a bottle of special milk for Rhinos before it was time to go for a afternoon nap. Rangers and staff at Aquila Private Game Reserve in the western cape are ecstatic after the birth of their 4th rhino in 3 months. This latest calf was born at 09h05, 13th Jan 2016. The third calf, born in the early hours of New Year’s Eve had to be rescued from dehydration after being rejected by its mother. To further complicate matters the calf had attached itself to the father, who is very aggressive and he was making it impossible for Vets to get near the calf. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus
160117. Cape Town. ( left - owner of Aquila Game reserve Searl Derman) 8 year old Hunter Mitchell meeting the orhaned baby Rhino at Aquila Private Game Reserve near Touwsrivier today. Hunter managed to raise over R10k of funds for this little calf using social media. Hunter had the opertunity to take the calf for a walk, made him a mud bath to cool down in, and then learned how to prepare a bottle of special milk for Rhinos before it was time to go for a afternoon nap. Rangers and staff at Aquila Private Game Reserve in the western cape are ecstatic after the birth of their 4th rhino in 3 months. This latest calf was born at 09h05, 13th Jan 2016. The third calf, born in the early hours of New Year’s Eve had to be rescued from dehydration after being rejected by its mother. To further complicate matters the calf had attached itself to the father, who is very aggressive and he was making it impossible for Vets to get near the calf. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus
160117. Cape Town. ( left - owner of Aquila Game reserve Searl Derman) 8 year old Hunter Mitchell meeting the orhaned baby Rhino at Aquila Private Game Reserve near Touwsrivier today. Hunter managed to raise over R10k of funds for this little calf using social media. Hunter had the opertunity to take the calf for a walk, made him a mud bath to cool down in, and then learned how to prepare a bottle of special milk for Rhinos before it was time to go for a afternoon nap. Rangers and staff at Aquila Private Game Reserve in the western cape are ecstatic after the birth of their 4th rhino in 3 months. This latest calf was born at 09h05, 13th Jan 2016. The third calf, born in the early hours of New Year’s Eve had to be rescued from dehydration after being rejected by its mother. To further complicate matters the calf had attached itself to the father, who is very aggressive and he was making it impossible for Vets to get near the calf. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Raphael Wolf

AN EIGHT-year-old boy has raised R10 000 towards ensuring a recently orphaned rhino calf is kept warm, safe and loved.

Hunter Mitchell, of Somerset West, decided to raise money in accordance with his New Year’s resolution to contribute towards the calf’s rearing when he learnt that its mother had rejected and abandoned it soon after birth.

Hunter’s mother, Lynley Mitchell, said her family had been following the progress of the calf through media reports.

“The idea (of Hunter raising the money) came about on January 1, the day after the orphaned calf was born. My husband had made the comment that we shouldn’t be complaining about what we had, or wanted, but looking for ways to help others,” said Mitchell.

She said Hunter initially decided to raise R1 000 in response to a plea from Aquila Private Game Reserve, where the rhino was born.

Her family had helped him set up a Facebook page, as well as a fund-raising page on a well-known New Zealand website, for relatives and friends to follow his progress, she added.

“Every morning he would wake to check his total and eagerly check back for any updates he could share on his page on how his little (rhino) buddy was doing.

“He sent out messages to his friends who were still away on holiday, and it was even more exciting when they would want to help too, by donating Christmas or pocket money.”

According to Mitchell, the final amount raised by Hunter on the day of the official donation handover stood at R9 520, with Aquila vet Dr Doempies Taljaard, from Tulbagh, adding R480, bringing the total to R10 000.

Hunter thanked the contributors by sending them personalised digital rhino artwork, said Mitchell.

The reserve’s owner, Searl Derman, gave Hunter a certificate – making him an honorary game ranger – and invited him, his parents and two brothers to meet the orphaned rhino.

“The moment when he first laid eyes on the rhino was very touching. They spent about one-and-a-half hours together,” said Mitchell.

Judy Mannering, marketing manager for the reserve, said contributions from Hunter’s campaign were still pouring in.

She said more contributions were needed for security and a boma to house the calf, its carers and animal companions.