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Monday, 26 February 2018   /   published in Rhinos

Keepers Spent 24/7 Hand-Rearing Baby White RHINO That Couldn’t Walk – Feeding Her 70 PINTS Of Milk A Day

Jess Young Adapted from original in
Hayley Mullaney with Belle the rare white rhino at Cotswold Wildlife Park. Hayley and Belle share a unique bond as the zoo keeper from Cotswold Wildlife Park gave Belle twenty-four hour care directly after she was born including sleeping in the Rhino House to give Belle her bottle-feeds every few hours.


Belle the white rhino was born at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens in October 2017 to parents Nancy and Monty, but her front right foot wouldn’t extend.

Staff separated the calf from its mum to look after the leg, but then the keepers had to take over feeding the 70kg tot.

Belle needed 40 litres of milk, roughly 70 pints, every DAY, and workers drew up a rota to feed her the mammoth amount in two-hour intervals.


Hayley Mullaney cares for Belle the white rhino in it’s first weeks after it was hand reared by the park.


Soon after birth, although Belle was standing fine, when she tried to walk, her right foreleg twisted, leaving the 70kg rhino baby standing on her carpus joint, similar to a wrist.

Staff hoped the leg would right itself, but In the morning, Belle couldn’t straighten out the joint. Experts were called an they made the difficult decision to separate the calf  from her mom.



Belle would need round the clock care, as she still needed feeding every two hours.

Belle was cared for and monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the next three weeks.

It took 5 dedicated staff to care for the baby rhino. “We just sat with her, spoke to her if she was awake and anxious or stressed. She was being fed every two hours initially.

Now five-months-old, Belle has gained over 220kg.


Belle the white rhino being introduced to her mum Nancy for the first time


She was slowly reintroduced to her mom.

“At the moment, she spends most of her day with her mother and we hope soon she will be with her 24 hours a day.

“There is still a long period of bottle feeding ahead of us but Nancy allows Belle to come to her keepers for her feeds and appears to be tolerating her belated new edition well.

“It is unclear if Nancy realizes this is her calf, but Rhinos can be amazingly gentle with calves and we hope whatever the situation, the pair form a strong bond.

“Over the next week and months, we will gradually introduce her to the rest of the herd until she is a fully fledged member of the crash.”