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Hari the Indian Rhino Meets His Fans at Taronga Western Plains

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: December 14, 2021 3:40 pm

Indian Rhino Debut Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Eight-week old Indian rhinoceros calf Hari is seen interacting with keeper Hayley Brooks under the watchful eye of mother Amala

Photo Credit: Rick Stevens/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo

An Indian rhinoceros calf born on October 18th 2021 has made his debut in a paddock viewable by guests visiting Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The calf was accompanied on his debut by mother Amala.

Amala is highly protective of her calf. Until now the pair have been given time to bond behind the scenes.

“Hari regularly suckles from mum which is important as this is his main source of food

and nutrients. Whilst he isn’t ready for solid food just yet, he is trying to pick things up

including sticks and bits of fruit left over from Amala which is good to see,” said Rhino

keeper Toby Stewart.

At present the calf weighs an estimated 100kg. Over the coming years he will grow to a massive two tonnes.

“Greater One-horned Rhinos are not the heaviest of the Rhino species, that honour goes

to White Rhinos. They are, however, the tallest of the rhino species standing at almost 2

metres at the shoulder,” said Toby.

Indian Rhino Debut Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Eight-week old Indian rhinoceros calf Hari is seen exploring his paddock

Photo Credit: Rick Stevens/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Guests visiting the zoo will be able to view the duo in their paddock which is located just beyond the waterhole precinct at the top of the zoo's circuit. Since being given access to the paddock the pair are regularly seen galloping around or wallowing in the mud.

The pair have access to the paddock between 9.30am and 12.30pm each day.

“Hari seems to have a lot of energy as soon as he heads out into the paddock and he

keeps running after Amala has stopped. He’ll then come back to her and give her a

nudge and try to have a little spar with her.”

“On a warm day guests may see the pair wallowing in the mud. Wallowing not only helps

keep rhinos cool on a hot summer’s day but is also how they protect their skin from

insect bites and the sun, with the mud acting as a sunscreen,” said Toby.

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Keepers have also been working to strengthen their bond with Hari. This is achieved using a creep area which keepers can allow Hari to access while his mother is enjoying her breakfast.

“We don’t encourage him into this space but rather allow him to come in under his own

steam. He can leave whenever he wants to return to mum,” said Toby. “This time with

Hari is really important as it allows us to not only build a rapport with him from a young

age, but also keep a close eye on him to make sure he is keeping healthy. This process

helps create a bond between the keeper and calf and will go a long way in the future

when he is an adult rhino,” said Toby.

Learn more about Indian Rhinoceros here – Indian Rhinoceros Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Taronga Western Plains Zoo on their website – Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Indian Rhino Debut Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Eight-week old Indian rhinoceros calf Hari is seen exploring the paddock with mother Amala

Photo Credit: Rick Stevens/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo

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