Liam Burrough stopped to help. And later, he paused to rant. All of it was because a badly wounded and dehydrated baby rhinoceros was alone by the side of a South African road.
Burrough, a wildlife advocate, was on a drive south of Tshokwane in the Kruger National Park in early September when he spotted what he described as an 8-week-old white rhino calf in the road.
In a post on his Facebook page, in which he he said he needed to get something off his chest and warned those not in the mood for a "rant" to skip it, he detailed the condition of the rhino, his efforts to help the animal, and his feelings about the slaughter of wildlife in his homeland.
Burrough said the rhino was desperately in search of relief from the heat when she collapsed in the shade provided by his vehicle.
"Slumping onto her hindquarters and then onto her belly she caught a few moments of peaceful rest in our shadow," Burrough wrote. "She had undoubtedly lost her mother at this tender age to a poacher in this, one of the hardest hit areas by poaching in the Kruger. We sent another car to get help from a rangers station whilst we sat, giving the calf cooling showers with bottled water and more than anything, comfort and reassurance."
Burrough's story was also shared on a Facebook page for the Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit. Photos there showed the rhino leaning against the bumper of a car and drinking from a water bottle being held up to her mouth.
A third Facebook post took the grim story in a happier direction as the calf, now named Shadow, was shown to be recovering with an organization called Care for Wild Africa, which said she is doing "extremely well."
"It is our responsibility as humans to protect these animals," Burrough wrote in his original post after the rescue. "The bastards fueling this ridiculous trade have to be stopped ... We will not stand for the senseless slaughter of our wildlife. Change begins with you ... ."
That post has now been shared more than 15,000 times, and in a comment on Sept. 8, Burrough wrote, "Thanks all for the amazing support and the thousands of shares. So full of hope for the cause."
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