Australian Zoos Swap Rhino Bulls to Save Species
Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: April 22, 2022 4:10 pm
Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Monarto Safari Park have swapped their white rhinoceros bulls as part of the breeding program for this threatened species.
Umfana, the breeding bull at Taronga Western Plains Zoo made the move to South Australia last week. On his arrival Satara, the resident breeding bull at Monarto Safari Park was loaded on to the truck and made the return drive to Dubbo.
Keepers report that both rhinoceros were relaxed during their trip. This was the result of careful planning and preparation by their respective zoos.
Both Umfana and Satara are seen as being critical to the breeding program for the southern white rhinoceros in Australia. At their new homes these individuals will be introduced to females which it is hoped they will breed with.
"Here at Taronga Western Plains, we started crate training Umfana about nine months ago. We introduced him to his travelling crate, which he became very familiar and comfortable with overtime,” said White Rhino Keeper Bobby-Jo Vial.
“On the day of his departure he went into the crate really smoothly and travelled very well throughout. Our Senior Veterinarian accompanied him and returned with Satara, who was unloaded safely here in Dubbo.”
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“He has a lovely calm nature, which his Keepers at Monarto had described to us, and it’s been so nice to see this virtually straight away,” Bobby-Jo said.
“Satara enjoys getting a good scratch and rub down from his keepers. We’re all really enjoying working with him and look forward to introducing him to our herd.”
At present Satara is behind the scenes undergoing a quarantine period. Once he exits this he will be gradually introduced to the rest of the dubbo herd.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo will be introducing Satara to four females – Mopani, Likwesi, Kamari and Meeka. It is hoped he will breed with Kamari and also, in time, Meeka.
“Satara, like Umfana, is a proven breeding bull. Although we are sad to farewell Umfana, we’re so happy that he’ll continue to play an important role in the breeding program for his species at his new Monarto home. Likewise we have high hopes for Satara, also a proven breeding bull, to do the same here at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.”
Southern white rhinoceros are listed as endangered in the wild primarily through poaching for their horn which is used in traditional medicines.
White rhino bull Satara explores a paddock after arriving at Taronga Western Plains Zoo
Photo Credit: Zoo Name