A year ago, staff at Taronga Western Plains Zoo grieved for the loss of four White Rhinos that had contracted an illness. But this year on May 14th, staff arrived to find a wonderful early morning surprise. Mopani, the only female White Rhino to survive the illness, had given birth to a little male. Only hours old, the calf was still a bit wobbly on his feet as the news spread around the zoo.
“Mopani is an amazing animal, having actually contracted the illness last year whilst carrying her calf. To come through that and give birth to this healthy calf is just remarkable,” said Senior White Rhino Keeper, Pascale Benoit. “Everyone is just over the moon with the arrival of the White Rhino calf."
Mopani, a gentle and caring first-time mother, is doing her job well. The calf will nurse from his mother for two years until he is weaned. While the male rhinos do not take part in raising the young, the father Umfana also deserves congratulations, as this is his third calf and second male.
Photo credits: Taronga Western Plains Zoo
See a video the little male calf and his mother: