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Australia's Newest Bundle of Baby Rhino Joy!

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For some time now staff at Monarto Zoo in South Australia have been eagerly waiting for the birth of a southern White Rhino calf. Monday April 25 put an end to the waiting game with the arrival of a wrinkly, big footed baby Rhino. Staff arrived early to find mum resting inside her night area, which is unusual for that time of morning, and upon hearing staff Umqali promptly greeted them to reveal a tiny baby hiding behind her. So far this year, on average one rhino a day has been killed by poachers in Southern Africa. This is an appalling statistic. AND it is all for compressed hair-keratin, the same substance that forms our toenails! It is so important that zoo’s like Monarto and others make people aware of how fragile nature is and provide them with a way for people to act in the best interest of the natural world.

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Photo and video credits: Monarto Zoo

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Umqali, a seasoned mother, has been keeping a close eye on the little man as he wanders around exploring his new world and firmly telling anyone (rhino or keeper) off who dares to overstep “the line”.

Putting on an average of 3kg/6.6lbs a day, this little guy won’t stay little for very long and his boldness is already shining through as he mock charges keepers and head butts mum as she casually munches on her lucerne hay. She definitely has her hands full and so do the keepers.

For the first week mum and calf had a little quiet time out of the public eye, getting to know each other and aunty, Uhura, who is being told sternly by mum to keep her distance. But as of May 4 the new family is now on public display so everyone can enjoy this little guys antics!

One a serious note and connection to deeper conservation issues; it is not just that there is now one more rhino in the world but we are now one more rhino further away from extinction. So far this year, on average one rhino a day has been killed by poachers in Southern Africa. This is an appalling statistic. AND it is all for compressed hair-keratin, the same substance that forms our toenails! It is so important that zoo’s like Monarto and others make people aware of how fragile nature is and provide them with a way for people to act in the best interest of the natural world.
 
Southern white rhinos are native to southern Africa.  South Africa is the stronghold for this subspecies (93.0%), conserving 16,255 individuals in the wild in 2007. There are smaller reintroduced populations within the historical range of the species in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, while a small population survives in Mozambique. Populations have also been introduced outside of the former range of the species to Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

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