Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: July 14, 2020 8:42 pm
Monarto Safari Park is nearing the end of a big wait for an even bigger baby. In the next few weeks they expect Umqali, a southern white rhinoceros to give birth to her first calf. The gestation period of a southern white rhino is 500 days.
The father of the calf is known as Satara. Mating was observed by keepers last March and vets have been analyzing
hormone results over the last few months to determine she is pregnant. Their long gestation makes it difficult to determine an exact due date.
“We’re really excited to confirm Umqali is going to have her baby soon,” said Assistant Curator Anna Bennett. “Of course, baby rhinos are just adorable so the team is quite excited to have a little one running around, that’s for sure.”
Umqali is an experienced mother having given birth to 5 calves before. This will be the 7th calf born at Monarto Safari Park.
Each rhino birth is significant with over 8,000 being hunted in South Africa in the last decade. This is placing them at risk of extinction.
A rhino at Monarto Safari Park
Photo Credit: The Animal Facts
Keepers will monitor Umqali in the lead up to her birth using a series of CCTV cameras set-up around the exhibit. They have already seen kicking from the calf in mums belly and they expect this to increase in the coming weeks.
The calf will join the crash of rhinos at Monarto Safari Park which is made up of 2 males and 3 females.
This is expected to grow by 2022 with Monarto Safari Park providing a home for an insurance population of Southern white rhinos to protect against their extinction.
The insurance population will be made up of 30 southern white rhinos that will move to Monarto Safari Park.
These rhinos will be safe from poaching and be available to repopulate Africa if their population goes extinct.
Learn more about Monarto Safari Park on their website – Monarto Safari Park
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