Orphaned rhino rescued on the brink of death

(Working With Rhinos / YouTube)
(Working With Rhinos / YouTube)

Warning: This video contains images that may disturb some people.

More than a week after being shot by poachers, an orphaned baby rhino has been rescued in South Africa, a bullet hole still gaping in its leg.

The eight-month-old calf's mother is believed to have been shot dead by the same poachers who injured the baby last Friday (local time), in a reserve in the Mpumalanga region.

The calf escaped with a bullet hole torn into its left front leg and rescuers struggled to track her down in dense bush after heavy rain washed away her tracks.

But incredibly, she was discovered eight days after being shot, severely weakened and struggling to stand.

The calf was sedated by a local veterinarian, along with the reserve's anti-poaching unit.

She was taken into safety by the Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary, who began treating her wound by flushing it and clearing the rotting flesh.

It's expected the calf will take several weeks to fully recover.

"She has a long way to go, but is now in safe hands," the Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary says.