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Rhino Calf Born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: March 1, 2021 6:59 pm

black rhino calf

The black rhino calf with mother, Bakhita soon after her birth.

Photo Credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Keepers arriving to work at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia on the morning of Wednesday February 24th 2021 were delighted to find a rare black calf had been born overnight.

Mother Bakhita is an experienced parent having given birth to three calves previously. The calf was found standing beside mom in the behind-the-scenes calving yard.

Since the birth keepers have given the calf and her mother time to bond in peace and have completed their monitoring through CCTV cameras.

“This is the fourth calf for experienced mother Bakhita, who is the Zoo’s most successful Black Rhino breeding female and also the first female Black Rhino born here,” said Taronga Western Plains Zoo Director, Steve Hinks.

The birth is even more exciting as the calves father Kwanza passed away in 2020 while Bakhita was pregnant.

“This calf is especially important as it carries the legacy of our Black Rhino breeding bull, Kwanzaa who sadly passed away in 2020.”

“Kwanzaa played a prominent role in the Black Rhino conservation breeding program here in Dubbo, siring four calves, and it is such a great feeling to see his final calf arrive safely,” said Steve.

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Mom and calf have been doing well since the birth. Keepers will allow them to bond behind-the-scenes for the next couple of months. It is important to allow time for the calf to grow and develop before moving to the on-display black rhino paddock.

“The team will provide regular updates on our newest addition via Taronga TV and social media whilst the calf is behind-the-scenes,” said Steve.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is well renowned globally for its black rhino breeding program which commenced in the 1990s. This is the fourth calf born as part of the program during the last six years.

“Our team that care for this species here at the Zoo are experts in their field and this latest success is a testament to their knowledge, husbandry skills and dedication in conserving this remarkable species.”

With less than 6000 black rhinos thought to remain in the wild the species is considered critically endangered.

The zoo supports rhino conservation projects in Africa, Indonesia and India. These funds help to support habitat protection and restoration, anti-poaching units and programs which aim to reduce human-animal conflict.

Learn more about the black rhino here – Black Rhino Fact File | The Animal Facts

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

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