After months of waiting, Colchester Zoo’s keepers are celebrating the arrival of the first baby white rhino to be born in the UK through Artificial Insemination. The male was born to Cynthia, one of Colchester Zoo’s white rhinos in the early hours of Sunday 3rd October after a 16 month pregnancy.
Not only is Zamba is the first ever white rhino calf to be born at Colchester Zoo, but also his birth was only made possible by a pioneering artificial insemination (A.I) treatment. This treatment was possible thanks to the help of Thomas Hildebrandt and Robert Hermes, wildlife reproduction experts from the Leibniz Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin.
Zamba’s father was Colchester Zoo’s late male white rhino, Simba, who sadly died in April due to a combination of age related health problems. Therefore, Cynthia’s successful pregnancy and the subsequent birth of Zamba leave a poignant legacy to Simba.
Zamba has been kept inside his enclosure as a precaution for the first few days, but he has now started to venture out onto the hardstand area of his enclosure with mum Cynthia, and can often be seen running circles around her; much to the fascination of the giraffes and zebras in the adjoining paddock area!
Anthony Tropeano, Colchester Zoo’s Zoological Director said, “We are obviously delighted by the safe arrival of baby Zamba, a first for Colchester Zoo. It is all the more special because it is the first successful insemination of a white rhino in the UK, which is a critical development in the research work that the Berlin Institute is leading.”