A Dog Befriends A Rescued Baby Giraffe and Their Friendship Is Adorable

By: Ene Ayegba | Last updated: Oct 10, 2023

If you love adventure, then Africa is an exciting place to be. In many parts, you can find different beautiful animals roaming about close to where humans reside.

But finding a baby Giraffe all by itself isn’t an everyday discovery. So, when a farmer did, he called for help. Not only did the Giraffe find carers, but he also met an amazing friend, a dog called Hunter.

A Stranded Giraffe Gets Rescued

While on a routine visit to his farm, a South African farmer discovered something unusual: a baby Giraffe. 

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Source: WDWMinnieBar/ Twitter

Although spotting animals from a distance is pretty standard, he knew something was wrong when he saw no family members around. The animal was separated from his family and left stranded in the wild.

He Was Abandoned By His Mother

Wondering how a baby Giraffe got to be all by himself? You may be shocked to hear that his mother abandoned him. Yes, you read right. Giraffes are known to reject their young ones if they notice any signs of ill health. 

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Source: Angamasafari/ Twitter

Giraffes are always on the lookout for predators like Lions and Hyenas, which may appear at any moment. Having an unhealthy baby would slow down the mother’s flight and endanger both their lives. 

The Giraffe Was Just About Three Days Old

The unhealthy calf had only lived for a few days before its mother abandoned it. Animal conservationists believed it was left after two to three days.

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Source: The Rhino Orphanage/ Facebook

His mother’s assessment of his health was also correct; the calf was unhealthy. In the words of its carers, it was “very dehydrated and weak.” The farmer called an animal care center which responded swiftly and moved the animal to a secure shelter.

The Rhino Orphanage Became the Baby Giraffe’s New Home

The Rhino Orphanage, a center for the care and rehabilitation of rhino calves, took the responsibility of caring for the stranded Giraffe. The center is a non-profit establishment in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

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Source: The Rhino Orphanage/ Facebook

The center was designed to be a refuge and treatment home for rhinos endangered by animal poachers’ activities. But their services are also available for other endangered wild animals.

The Baby Giraffe Finds a Friend

At The Rhino Orphanage, the baby Giraffe named Jazz found its most precious friend. Hunter was the center’s security dog and was also on its anti-poaching team. 

Source: ajplus/ Twitter

They both fell in love with each other and formed a strong bond. The care center staff couldn’t help but notice and publicize this lovely friendship.

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The Love Story Goes Viral

News of the unlikely friendship soon got viral as the orphanage posted photos of the duo on their social media page. 

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Source: ajplus/ Twitter

These posts, including an endearing video of both animals having a good time together, attracted many views. The video was watched by over eight hundred thousand people and got more than a thousand comments. 

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Jazz Means the World to Hunter

The viral 25-second video showed the two animals playing lovingly with each other. Jazz stroked Hunter’s body with his tongue, and Hunter returned the favor while affectionately placing his paw on Jazz’s forelimb.

Source: The Rhino Orphanage/ Facebook

“I could sit and watch this all day; what an amazing bond between these two animals,” a viewer commented. 

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The Orphanage Tells Us More About Hunter’s Attachment to Jazz

Jazz is doing much better than before. His health has improved dramatically, and he has built some social skills. Thanks to the orphanage’s work and, of course, his new best friend, Hunter.

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Source: The Rhino Orphanage/ Facebook

The orphanage described their friendship as “astonishing.” Talking about Hunter, a staff member said he was “so concerned about Jazz when he was in a coma that he did not want to eat.”

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The Orphanage Shared Updates on Jazz’s Progress

One of the social media posts that showed Jazz’s progress was a video of him eating leaves. 

Source: The Rhino Orphanage/ Facebook

The orphanage posted the one-minute Facebook video with the caption, “Probably the cutest thing you’ll see today, Giraffe orphan Jazz trying some Acacia leaves for the first time….” Though he didn’t seem to be excited about the leaf, it was a good thing that he could try wider food options.

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Jazz's Heart Was Getting Back to Normal

When he was found and rescued, Jazz’s illness affected his blood circulation. Typically, adult Giraffes have hearts weighing twenty-five pounds and are two feet long. 

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Source: The Rhino Orphanage/ Facebook

This heart size helps them pump the required 16 gallons of blood per minute. Jazz’s inability to circulate the necessary amount of blood demanded lots of rest for his recovery. 

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Jazz Was Fed With Milk in Another Video

The Rhino Orphanage also posted another adorable video where Jazz was taking a drink of milk. In the one-minute video that showed tremendous improvement in his health, Jazz was fed milk from a plastic bottle by a staff of the orphanage. 

Source: ajplus/ Twitter

He looked pretty eager and seemed to enjoy the drink. He held onto the bottle until he took the last drop of milk. 

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Jazz Goes Outside for the First Time Since His Rescue

Jazz enjoyed staying indoors with his best friend, Hunter. But nothing compares to the beauty of nature, including the warmth of the sun. 

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Source: The Rhino Orphanage/ Facebook

Here, Jazz was taken outdoors, where he tasted the trees and played a little. True to his natural instinct, he threads pretty carefully, still suspicious of his environment like he normally should. 

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Now, a Baby Elephant Gets Lost

Just like Giraffes, elephants are also endangered animals. So, when a baby elephant was found away from its herd in another incident in South Africa, a rescue team rushed to his aid. 

Source: ECRBreakfast/ Twitter

By the time help came, the baby elephant was already malnourished and ill. Besides the expertise of the medical team, it could take some miracle for the elephant to survive.

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The Herd is the Safest Place for Baby Animals

There’s no safer and healthier place for a baby elephant outside its herd. So, the rescue team had to revive the animal enough to place it back in its herd. No one knew why it was abandoned in the first place. But they had to try. 

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The rescue team was already familiar with the wildlife reserve. This proved advantageous as they had no trouble locating its herd. 

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The Team Had a Hard Time Reintegrating the Baby Elephant

By the time the team found its herd, they had thought their jobs were almost done. It turned out that there was a bigger obstacle to surmount. 

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The herd refused to take back the baby elephant. After several failed attempts, the team had to come up with another plan for the elephant that they had named Ellie.

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The Team Came Up With Another Plan

Since the herd didn’t want to take in an unhealthy member, the rescue team came up with a different plan which wasn’t too different from the first. They will care for Ellie themselves, and when he fully recovers, they will make another attempt to get him back in the herd. 

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Source: Buzzfeed/ Pinterest

They took Ellie back to the Thula Thula Private Game Reserve in Zululand. There she continued to receive medical attention till she was fully fit.

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Medical Assessment Showed a Serious Ailment

The team first had to find out what ailment Ellie suffered from so that they could provide accurate treatment. The results they got from their assessment were pretty alarming. 

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Ellie suffered from several conditions that could take his life. The most serious of these conditions was an umbilical hernia. His intestine burst out of the muscles of the abdomen and suffered an infection due to the exposure. 

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Ellie Had Just a 1% Chance of Survival

Unfortunately, animals with this condition have a 1% chance of survival. Would Ellie join the 1%? The team just had to try their best. 

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Source: Project_wldlife/ Twitter

They fed him with coconut oil after he rejected the more proteinous milk. He also fell in love with a dog in the reserve called Duma. Like Jazz and Hunter, their love story went viral and inspired massive online interest. 

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Ellie Fully Recovers

The new bond between Ellie and Duma introduced a twist in the team’s plan to release Ellie to his herd. Both animals have already formed a strong bond with each other. They spend most of their time together playing and exercising. 

Source: Sybildanning/ Twitter

Also, thanks to Duma, Ellie recovered from a bout of depression he had earlier suffered. The team had to change their plans. Ellie will stay with Duma for as long as possible before he is reintroduced to his herd.

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