Blind baby rhino rescued by wildlife wardens after he is seen bumping into trees and rocks in the wild
- Nicky, a rare black Rhino, was seen walking into things by conservationists
- Vets confirmed he was blind and he is now cared for 24 hours a day
- Now rescuers hope to restore his sight through surgery
This is the blind baby rhino rescued from the wild after being spotted bumping into trees and rocks on the African savannah.
Nicky, a rare black rhino, is now getting 24-hour care at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya and has formed a close bond with staff.
The wildlife reserve hit the headlines when Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton there in 2010.
The boisterous 18-stone mammal named Nicky was rescued by Mike Watson who found him running around alone.
Mike, CEO of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which was founded to protect rhinos from poachers, said: ‘A couple of months ago we noticed a baby rhino running into things, straying away from his mother and getting confused.
'The veterinary team confirmed he was blind, so we took him in as the chances of survival in the wild would have been very slim.
'The first few days in his new home were difficult for him, but now he’s thriving, growing and getting into all kinds of trouble.'
Over the next few months, Mike is hoping to raise enough money to fly in a specialist to perform cataract surgery to restore Nicky’s eyesight.
But for now, he is enjoying life with his adoptive family.
Mike said: ‘As soon as Nicky wakes up, he’s ready to play. He goes crazy for a couple of hours, running around, bumping into things.
'After a nap, he’ll go for a walk with his minder, then take a mudbath - his favourite activity.'
Nicky depends on his minders who look after him 24 hours a day.
Mike said: ‘Nicky even sleeps with his minder, who makes sure he’s wrapped up in a warm blanket - a comfort he would get from his mother in the wild.
'If it falls off he’ll wake his minder up by jumping on top of him until it’s put back on.'
The Duke of Cambridge has called for a halt to the killing of rhinos for their horns as experts warn that Africa is facing the worst poaching crisis in decades.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy reported five slaughtered rhinos in a fortnight last month.
It costs Lewa around $1,265 per month to care for Nicky. Keepers are now trying to raise money to continue Nicky’s day-to-day care.
To donate to Lewa, click here.