By Mikey Jones
These adorable orphaned animals couldn’t look any cosier – snuggling up in beautiful crochet blankets as they recover from some horrific ordeals.
Pictured in the colourful knits, the animals appear perfectly tranquil but the harsh reality is, they have all fallen victim to poaching – with many being left orphaned and alone.
The blankets, created by conservation group, Blankets for Baby Rhinos, provide warmth and a feeling of much-needed security for vulnerable animals including rhinos, elephants, monkeys and zebras.
Elisa Best, from South Africa, founded the organisation with her friend in 2016 after discovering baby rhinos often arrive at orphanages hypothermic having had a very traumatic experience and being left to fend for themselves.
The pair launched a Facebook appeal for knitted squares in a bid to create some blankets but soon found themselves inundated with beautiful handmade blankets from all over the world.
Elisa said: “I was overwhelmed by the talent and good will. We soon had more than we needed for rhinos so branched out to other species.
“We have donated over 2000 handmade blankets since we started.
“We also make beanies, scarves and gloves for those out on patrol.
“The rangers particularly are touched to receive hand made good often from very far away, many of them may never have left their local area, let alone the country and it means a great deal that someone on the other side of the world is thinking of them and grateful for what they do.
“We ask our members to attach notes of support for the rangers, which they do and its lovely to see how touched they are.
“We feel that the extra moral support is vital for these people on the front line.”
The organisation also use their crafts to raise funds by selling or raffling them. The funds are used to purchase animal feed and vital equipment for rangers and orphanages. Since they started they have donated over 1 ton of milk powder for rhino orphans as well as feed for ranger dogs in the Kruger National Park and other reserves.
For more information and details on how to help please visit http://www.blanketsforbabyrhinos.org