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Monarto Safari Park Celebrate 20 years of Rhino Conservation

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: December 11, 2020 3:46 pm

monarto safari park rhino calf

A southern white rhinoceros at Monarto Safari Park

Photo Credit: Cale Russell/ The Animal Facts

Monarto Safari Park in South Australia is celebrating 20 years since they became home to their first southern white rhinoceros.


South white rhinoceros, Uhura arrived from Singapore on December 9th 2020 becoming the first of her species to be seen in South Australia.


Since her arrival Monarto Safari Park has bred seven southern white rhinoceros calves. Currently six rhinos call the park home, three adult females, two adult females and calf Eshe who was born earlier this year.

Eshe the southern white rhinoceros at Monarto Safari Park

Photo Credit: Cale Russell/ The Animal Facts

Monarto Safari Park director, Peter Clark said, ““Not only are rhinos an incredibly charismatic animal, they’re also representative of the vital conservation work zoos and parks do around the world.


“Our Anthony Taylor Rhino Quarantine and Management Centre is almost complete, which brings us one step closer to being able to house an insurance population of up to 40 Southern White Rhinos here at the park where they’ll be safe from poaching.


“To be able to have a space where we can grow the breeding program even more is not only exciting, but integral for our contribution to saving this species from extinction.”


Uhura came to Australia as part of ‘operation white rhino’ which included international collaboration, lots of paperwork and a lengthy quarantine period.

A southern white rhinoceros at Monarto Safari Park

Photo Credit: Cale Russell/ The Animal Facts

Long-standing Zoos SA employee and rhino enthusiast Geoff Brooks has been lucky enough to witness every rhino arrival since the fateful Operation White Rhino took place.


“There’s a saying that to import an animal into Australia, the paperwork must first equal the weight of the animal, and with Uhura and later rhinos this was no exception!


“Rhinos are fascinating animals – I feel very privileged to have known all 13 Southern White Rhinos who have called Monarto home over the years, and remember all of their distinct quirks and personalities.


“For example, we invited the media to Monarto to see Uhura arrive and opened the crate expecting her to rush out, but she didn’t move… The media eventually left. It was 24 hours before Uhura finally decided to exit the crate and move into her new home.”


“But there’s nothing more unforgettable than being there shortly after a birth and watching a newborn calf take their first shaky steps on skinny legs while trying to come to terms with their seemingly oversized feet.”

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Southern white rhinos continue to be threatened in the wild. Over 10,000 of them have been killed in the wild over the last 10 years. This is mainly driven by hunting for their horns which is thought by some to have medicinal benefits. In fact it is made of the same protein which forms human hair and fingernails.


As few as 15,000 remain in the wild with experts predicting they may be extinct within the next decade.


Monarto will welcome as many as 40 southern white rhinos in coming years starting from 2022 to form an insurance population. They also support programs to conserve southern white rhinoceroses in the wild.

Eshe the southern white rhinoceros at Monarto Safari Park

Photo Credit: Cale Russell/ The Animal Facts

Learn more about southern white rhinos here – Southern White Rhinoceros | The Animal Facts


Learn more about Monarto Safari Park on their website – Monarto Safari Park

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