Wild Things

Gertjie and Lammie, a Magical (and Bizarre) Friendship

Gertjie is a rhino. He looks like a rhino, he (probably) smells like a rhino, and if rhinos could talk, he would presumably talk like a rhino, too. He does not, however, always act like a rhino. As you’ll see in the video above, Little G—as his handlers at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in Pretoria, South Africa, affectionately call him—is attached at the hip to a young lamb, who, apparently, causes the rhino to momentarily forget what species he is.


Orphaned last May when his mother was killed by poachers, Gertjie arrived at HESC with a rhino-sized hole in his heart. Enter Lammie, the affable lamb who would fill that hole, and in the process build a bond strong enough to cause Little G to prance around the reserve as if he too were a small, agile lamb—and not, you know, one of the more intimidating herbivores on the planet.

Filmed by assistant curator Karien Smit in order to catch the “very special pair” in action, the visual of Little G hopping around on all fours should be both a ridiculous and hilarious sight. But, to be honest, it’s suddenly so gosh darn dusty in here that it’s hard for me to focus on anything other than the fact that an orphaned rhino and lamb are BFFs.