Australia Zoo announced the birth of their second Southern White Rhinoceros calf, a baby girl. The calf, born February 7, is the first offspring for parents Inyeti and DJ. This is Inyeti’s first calf, and only the second rhino to be born at Australia Zoo and Queensland. According to keeper Renee Schier, the baby is making great progress. “We’re very excited to announce that the calf is healthy, strong and weighs between 45 – 50 kgs (99-110 pounds)."
Southern White Rhinoceros are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), due to poaching threats and illegal use of Rhino horn. There are approximately 18 – 20,000 Rhino left in the wild and another 780 in captivity. Australia Zoo is part of a regional co-operative program working with other zoos in Australasia to maximize breeding potential and genetic diversity of the White Rhino.
Despite arriving a little earlier than anticipated the baby is showing all of the normal signs for a healthy calf. Renee added, “We’re really happy with her progress. She is feeding and is quite active – she was walking within hours of the birth.”
Here is a video of the baby that was made to announce a naming contest. The public was invited to submit names last week and now everyone is waiting for Terri Irwin, and her children Bindi and Robert to announce the name.
More pictures of mom and baby after the fold: