4 Intimate moments between animals and caretakers that will make you go 'awwww'

2018-02-22 20:00 - Gabi Zietsman
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Twitter/@WeAnimals/Jo-Anne McArthur

Cape Town - Looking after orphaned animals looks like the best job in the world! 

But it isn't all sunshine and animal hugs. Many of these babies have gone through a lot of trauma, either losing their mothers to poachers or having been abandoned, and you need a lot of patience and courage to help them survive into adulthood - if they make it.

SEE: Get your cute dose for the day with this newly discovered dwarf lemur

And if they do get released back into the wild, your heart may break into a few pieces, so you also need a tough skin.

These four caretakers however seem to have mastered the art of animal cuteness, and luckily for a world filled with wildlife atrocities, these adorable moments were captured on camera so that humans can seem a little less terrible.

Baby rhino falls asleep to lullaby

With South Africa's shocking rhino poaching statistics, it's nice to sometimes get a happy rhino story. Care For Wild Rhino Sanctuary in Mpumalanga shared this 'awww' moment of one of their staff playing his guitar to a rhino calf, who ends up falling asleep!

She was only one day old when she came to the sanctuary, after her mother rejected her at birth, and seems to have taken quite a liking to this 'baby rhino sleep whisperer'.

WATCH: Adorable baby rhino playfully charges at car

Award-winning hug between a Chadian and a gorilla

This photo of an intimate moment between a caretaker and a gorilla won the People's Choice Award in the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and with that winning smile it's not hard to see why.

According to the photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, a wildlife activist, the photo was taken in Cameroon at one of its ape sanctuaries. The gorilla, Pikin, was six when the photo was taken, and was rescued from the bushmeat and pet trade in the country. Her caretaker, Appolinaire, hails from Chad, where the civil war forced him to flee, and he found his love for gorillas in the neighbouring country.

SEE: SA will send 6 black rhinos to Chad

A sick bear that just wants a hug

When animals get sick, they want attention just like humans. Jimbo the Kodiak bear may look scary, but he's actually just a big softy. In the video his caretaker Jim Kowalczik comforts the sick bear at a wildlife rehabiliation centre in New York, United States.

He was born in captivity, and was taken in when his first home closed down. Unfortunately, this meant he could never be released back into the wild and will live out the rest of his days at the centre. At least he looks like he's getting lots of love!

SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Yellowstone considers grizzly bear trophy hunting

Caretaker wears panda suit with baby pandas

I think we may have found the best job in the world. At the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China, caretakers wear panda suits when they interact with baby pandas destined to be released back into the wild instead of staying in captivity.

The suit makes sure that the pandas don't get attached to humans, as it limits their survival chances in the wild. The caretaker even smears urine or faeces onto the suit to hide the smell of human, but if it means you can play with pandas then sign me up.

WATCH: This baby elephant is so small it can fit into a helicopter!

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