The orphaned baby rhinoceros was adopted by family. He missed his mother and cried every night after 5 years of inseparable bonds and becoming an official member of the family

The orphaned baby rhinoceros was adopted by family. He missed his mother and cried every night after 5 years of inseparable bonds and becoming an official member of the family

They are known for their incredible strength and vicious temper, which makes these images of a fearless woman who lives with a rhinoceros all the more extraordinary.

The two ton beast formed a remarkable bond with Anne Whittall when she took him into her home in Zimbabwe as a baby.

The docile creature, affectionately known as Jimmy, was orphaned when his mother was cruelly shot by poachers in South Africa in 2007.

Nuzzling up: Rhinoceroses may be known for their strength but here ‘Jimmy’ shows his softer side as he snuggles into the knee of adopted mother Anne Whittall

Photographer David Hulme, discovered him yards from his mother’s body, petrified and hiding beneath a bush. He had been left to fend for himself for several days.

David, 40, then took Jimmy to close family friend Mrs Whittall, who along with her husband, Roger, runs Humani guesthouse and Roger Whittall Safaris in Zimbabwe.

The couple immediately volunteered to take care of the black rhino who quickly became one of the family and Anne’s best friend.

Five years later, Jimmy, named after Roger’s late father, is free to come and go as he pleases but still visits Anne, 71, regularly by popping his head through the open kitchen window.

Family affair: Anne and husband Roger immediately volunteered to take care of the black rhino who quickly became one of the family

Unusual: This is the rare site of a rhinoceros receiving milk from the hand of a worker at the guesthouse, next to a goat and a couple of curious dogs

Breakfast time! Jimmy pokes his head through the kitchen window at Humani guesthouse in Zimbabwae which is run by husband and wife team Roger and Anne Whittall

Reflected love: The two tonne beast takes a stroll with Anne across the flat wild plains of Zimbabwe

David said: ‘There’s no doubt that Jimmy sees Anne as his mother.

‘This isn’t surprising though as Anne bottle-fed him five or six times a day as a youngster.

‘He likes to come into the lounge and socialize and when he is feeling neglected, he squeaks with indignation and makes people jump.

‘He has quite a few friends in the form of the pet dogs, two orphan cows, some warthogs and an orphan buffalo.

‘Anne often takes Jimmy walking, although to be honest there is no walking involved.

Affectionate: The docile rhino, was orphaned when his mother was cruelly shot by poachers in South Africa in 2007

Puckering up: Anne shows her remarkable bond with Jimmy by seemingly sharing a kiss with him through a window of her country guesthouse

Feeding time: Anne and husband Roger volunteered to take care of the black rhino after photographer David Hulme discovered him hiding beneath a bush just yards from his mother’s dead body

Staring match: Jimmy cools off in a water hole as one of the family’s dogs looks on inquisitively

‘Anne and the dogs walk ahead while Jimmy brings up the rear, shuffling along and losing ground as he goes.

‘Suddenly he realizes he has been left behind and achieves zero to top gear in seconds.

‘Rhino are extremely short-sighted and pounding down the road after Anne, Jimmy seldom picks her out until he is really close. There are often some near misses.

‘Although he is mostly a placid kind of guy, he is also super tough and possesses unbelievable strength for an animal his size and age.

‘The strength in his shoulders and neck is particularly awesome.’

Animal instinct: Jimmy, named after Roger’s late father, is now free to come and go as he pleases but still visits 71-year-old Anne

Taking it easy: Anne sometimes takes Jimmy for walks, but she says the huge animal generally dawdles a few paces behind

Sharing a moment: Rhino are extremely short-sighted and pounding down the road after Anne, Jimmy seldom picks her out until he is really close

Cleaning up: Jimmy makes the most of the fresh water service available at Anne’s home, as birds happily go about their business in the picturesque surroundings

 

 

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