Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: May 15, 2020 8:58 pm
Photo Credit: Hamilton Zoo
A southern white rhino’s mammoth 16 month pregnancy has come to an end with the birth of a healthy calf on March 12th 2020. Hamilton Zoo welcomed the calf to mum Kito and father Kruger. This is Kito’s fourth calf.
The name Zahra has been chosen for this calf. Zahra is a Swahili word for flower or beautiful.
Unfortunately from birth Zahra has had a condition called Epidermolysis bullosa which unfortunately will remain with her for life. This rare genetic condition means her skin has some lesions on it.
Zoo curator, Cheridan Mathers said, “Visitors may notice lesions on her legs and under her chin. Though the lesions can look unsightly, her behaviour tells us that these are not affecting her in any adverse way. She’s still bright and bubbly, bouncing around, feeding from mum and exploring her environment.”
Luckily keepers and vets are monitoring the calf and the lesions are reducing.
Hamilton Zoo’s highly successful breeding program has led to the birth of eight white rhino calves. This is a major success in the conservation of this threatened species.
The rhino family including Zahra will be on display from May 15th. This is also the first day that Hamilton Zoo will reopen following a closure to reduce transmission of Covid-19.
Southern white rhinos are a threatened species. In 1895 it was believed they were extinct in the wild until a small population was found in South Africa.Since the discovery of this population a range of conservation measures and breeding programs such as those at Hamilton Zoo has seen a significant increase in the population and the IUCN has now listed these rhinos as “near threatened.”
Unfortunately these animals are not out of the woods with poaching for their horns which some cultures believe to have medicinal qualities.
Find out more about Hamilton Zoo here – Hamilton Zoo
You can see and learn more about Zahra in the video below.
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