Aww!
Video captures baby rhino playing with his zookeeper and it’s the cutest thing
He's going full-throttle with his play session and I don't think I can handle it. 🦏🥰
Kate Miano
08.04.21

If you were a zoo animal, how would you keep yourself entertained? While there are a bunch of other animals around to keep a zoo animal’s interest, there are also a lot of humans. Humans are paid to go into the cage and take care of you and play with you.

Recently, we were all blessed with a video of a baby rhino whose favorite playmate is their zookeeper. He lives at the Givskud Zoo in Denmark and seems to be having an awfully good time there.

The playing looks awfully similar to the way that rhinos act in the wild.

Except for it’s way more adorable. In the wild, rhinos will charge and attack pretty quickly for territory, a mate, or self-defense. But this baby can’t do that. He doesn’t have fully developed horns, and anyway, he seems way more interested in having a fun time.

flickr - tommy chheng
Source:
flickr - tommy chheng

Throughout the video, you see the baby rhinoceros running around a small cage. It repeatedly runs to a corner and then gallops up to the humans, almost as if he’s going to charge, but he stops and runs away.

It seems almost like a one-sided game of tag.

YouTube Screenshot - givskudzootv
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - givskudzootv

The way these two play is so adorable I can’t handle it.

No matter how intimidating it might be to have a rhinoceros — even a baby one — charging at you, it’s clear that this human and rhino have a strong interspecies friendship. At various points in their playing, the rhino will stop running to trot over to the human and nuzzle his hands. It’s like he’s saying “thank you for playing with me.”

YouTube Screenshot - givskudzootv
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - givskudzootv

Each time the baby rhino runs up and touches the zookeeper’s hands he then bounces away super excitedly. To me, that seems like a sure sign that this little guy really loves this game, and loves the person he’s playing with.

There are important purposes behind this playing.

flickr - Steven Lilley
Source:
flickr - Steven Lilley

This playing is more than just play. The zookeeper has good reasons to want to keep the rhino having fun in this way. According to the Givskud Zoo YouTube Channel:

“The play isn’t just for fun. By interacting with the animal the zoo keeper creates trust witch helps in daily management. Furthermore the calf’s mother learns that the calf is in good hands.”

YouTube Screenshot - givskudzootv
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - givskudzootv

This playing is an important developmental tool for animals at the zoo. It’s an added benefit that it looks so darn fun for rhino and human alike.

The internet collectively lost it over this video and this adorable rhino.

flickr - amboo who?
Source:
flickr - amboo who?

The video, posted on YouTube, has 213 thousand likes, 13.6 million views, and 12,699 comments. That’s a lot of attention being paid to this little rhino! People had a lot to say about this video.

One person commented:

“Very cute. When the little one looks in on mom as if to say, “Can I stay out and play some more, please?” Just like we used to ask our moms when we were kids. 😊”

YouTube Screenshot - givskudzootv
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - givskudzootv

Someone else made this good point:

“The playful nature of young animals, of any species, is just about the purest thing on the face of this Earth.”

Eventually, though, playtime is over.

YouTube Screenshot - givskudzootv
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - givskudzootv

Once the rhino is done with his playdate, he runs back to the cage that his mother is in. She’s been watching the whole time and is probably pretty grateful that her baby got some energy out. In addition to having a fun playdate, this game also helped form a closer bond with the zookeepers. It’s a win-win situation!

Watch the video below for this massive dose of baby rhino cuteness!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Kate Miano
hi@sbly.com
Kate Miano is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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