By Nina Massey
The young calf was found dehydrated, covered in wounds and emaciated as she approached the vehicle in desperate need of rest
These heartbreaking pictures show an eight-week-old orphaned rhino cowering in the shade of a car after her mother was killed by suspected poachers.
The young calf was found dehydrated, covered in wounds and emaciated as she approached the vehicle in desperate need of rest and medical help.
Liam Burrough, 22, was driving through Kruger National Park in South Africa, on September 4, when he spotted the distressed animal standing alone in the road.
The baby was so exhausted that she was visibly shaking - and was forced to lean against the car to keep herself upright.
Liam, who works as field guide in the Park, said: "She made a number of what we know as 'contact calls' - a vocalisation that a calf will make to locate its mother and to beg for milk. "She looked on for a few moments and then rested her chin on my door.
"Now this is a completely wild animal so for myself and all others in the car, the situation is clearly not normal."
After the experienced wildlife guide realised the mother was not nearby, he began to tend to the injured animal, pouring water over the calf's body to cool it down and providing it with a few refreshing sips.
Another car alerted the nearest ranger's station and a helicopter arrived to airlift the young rhino to safety.
Illegal poaching is rife in the area, with South African environment minister Edna Molewa unveiling plans last month to evacuate hundreds of rhinos from Kruger National Park.
Shockingly, Liam suggested that the calf may only have survived because poachers felt that killing her was a waste of ammunition - since she was not yet mature enough to have a horn worth harvesting.
He added: "In the current situation with poaching and being in that area of the reserve, I think it is safe to assume that the mother of the calf fell at the hands of poachers and her calf was left to die as it only had the beginnings of a horn and was not worth the bullet to the poachers."
The orphan is now under constant watch at Care For Wild Africa, a rehabilitation centre in South Africa.
A spokesperson for the centre said: "The calf is doing very well. She's making good friends with other orphaned rhinos.
"It is too early to make a decision about her future but we hope she can be returned to the wild.”