Vets in South Africa operated on 11-month-old Roccy after the young animal developed cataracts following a brutal attack last year.
Roccy's owner Yvonne Gioa said the unusual operation had given the calf a chance of living a normal life in the wild after allowing it to once again see.
Life-changing: Vets in South Africa operated on 11-month-old Roccy after the young rhino developed cataracts following a brutal attack last year
Concerned: Owner Yvonne Gioia looks on anxiously as Roccy undergoes the surgery. The young rhino was only three months old when his mother was attacked and killed by poachers and he was seriously injured
The wildlife lover, who runs the private Elandela reserve in South Africa's Mpumalanga province, said: 'Roccy was only three months old when his mother was attacked by poachers last June.
'They broke into the reserve early one Sunday morning and shot his mother before attacking Roccy too and leaving him with a terribly wounded head.
'When we got to the scene the mother was dead and her horns had been hacked off.'
She added: 'Since then we have had to nurse Roccy ourselves and raise him by hand.
'It quickly became obvious that he wasn't able to see properly - sometimes he would bang into rocks and he wasn't able to find his milk bottle without help.
'The vets said he had cataracts which were probably caused by the change in his condition after the attack.
Kind: The £2,500 operation on Roccy was funded by donations from guests at the luxury Elandela lodge
Fixing the damage: Roccy had developed cataracts after the attack. He was sedated before spending more than two hours under the knife
'We were worried as we want to get him back into the wild once he's old enough and with such poor eyesight he would never cope.
'But luckily one of our local vets agreed to operate on him and he has since done a check up and declared the surgery a success.'
A team of reserve staff were drafted in last month to get Roccy out of his enclosure and onto the back of a truck to be driven for surgery.
The orphaned rhino was sedated before spending more than two hours under the knife.
Specialist veterinary surgeon Anthony Goodhead was assisted by a team of nurses as he delicately removed Roccy's clouded lenses.
The animal was then transferred back to the reserve, which lies within South Africa's famous Kruger National Park.
Mrs Gioa said the £2,500 operation had been funded by donations from guests at the luxury Elandela lodge.
She said: 'It is an expensive procedure but our guests were so generous in giving donations to make it possible.
'Vets don't normally do operations like this on rhinos because of their size, so we were rather worried about how it would turn out.
'It took a few days for Roccy to get used to the change but the vet came to examine him and said everything went well.
'Roccy can now see up to 40 metres and has a much better sense of what is going on.'
She added: 'Rhinos need milk from their mothers for the first 18 months and only then can they start to be independent.
'We have recently taken in Clover, another rhino calf who was orphaned by poachers, and the two of them are living together.
Technical: Vets work on Roccy during the two-hour operation. Because they don't normally work on rhinos due to their size, they were worried how it might turn out
Good news: Roccy in the reserve with Clover, another orphaned rhino. The operation proved to be a huge success and Roccy can now see up to 40 metres
'We'll need to keep Roccy on site for another few months but now that his sight is restored we'll be able eventually to release him into the wild.
'It's a massive relief as after losing his mother things for him could have been so much worse.'
The death of Roccy's mother last year came amid a surge of rhino poaching in South Africa.
In recent years the black market value of rhino horn has soared, driven by demand for the substance in China and other Asian countries where it is used in traditional medicine.
Wildlife officials in South Africa have declared a crisis following the slaughter of 448 rhinos by poachers last year.
The army has been brought in to help protect the vulnerable animals from poachers inside the country's biggest game reserves.
But despite the measures more than 50 rhinos have already been killed this year by armed gangs who hack off their horns.