White Rhino

White Rhino Calf Enjoys Spring at Zoo Salzburg

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On April 4th, Zoo Salzburg’s Southern White Rhino, ‘Tamu’, gave birth to her first offspring. The healthy male calf arrived, without complications, and was up on his feet an hour after birth. “Our joy is huge,” says Managing Director, Sabine Grebner. “After 505 days gestation period, our 9 year old White Rhino cow, Tamu, brought a healthy Rhino boy into the world at 5:05 in the morning.”

Tamu’s little boy is now a rowdy 12-day-old, and he recently enjoyed time in the spring sunshine with his mother.

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ZooSalzburg_Rhino_2Photo Credits: Zoo Salzburg The White Rhino is the largest extant species of rhinoceros. It has a wide mouth, used for grazing, and is the most social of all rhino species. The White Rhino consists of two subspecies: the Southern White Rhinoceros (with an estimated 17,460 wild-living individuals at the end of 2007, according to the IUCN), and the much rarer Northern White Rhinoceros.

Most White Rhinos in zoos are of the southern subspecies. In 2001, it was estimated there were 777 White Rhinos in captivity, worldwide.

The fully captive Northern White Rhino Population consists of only three animals.The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, in California, has one Northern White Rhino, a female named ‘Nola’. She was born in 1974, wild caught, and is on loan to the zoo from another facility. On December 14, 2014, a 44-year-old male, named ‘Angalifu’, died of old age at the San Diego Zoo.

One hybrid female, named ‘Nabire’, currently lives at a zoo in the Czech Republic. Born in 1983, her mother was a Northern White Rhino, but her father was a Southern White Rhino.

In recent news, it was widely reported that the only known male Northern White Rhino, in existence, is being protected with 24 hour security, at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. 


White Rhino Born at Cotswold Wildlife Park

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Cotswold Wildlife Park celebrated an incredible milestone, recently. First-time mother, ‘Ruby’, gave birth to the Park’s first male White Rhino. The comparatively tiny calf is healthy and nursing well from Ruby, who is proving to be an exceptional mother. 

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Baby Rhino and Ruby together

DSCF6823Photo Credits: Cotswold Wildlife Park

Keepers, and a few lucky visitors, were present when Ruby gave birth at 12.30 pm on Friday, March 27th. In less than ten minutes, the fifteen month pregnancy was over, and thankfully, after a relatively quick labor, a new baby was welcomed into the family-run Burford Collection. Keeper Chris Kibbey caught the special moment on film.

Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park, Jamie Craig, commented: “Although we were expecting the birth, it still took us by surprise, at the time. After careful preparations for a nice, quiet arrival, ‘Ian’ was born in full view of many of the staff here at lunchtime on Friday, and Ruby allowed us a full graphic view of his entry into the world – an experience we will never forget. Although still very early days, he seems strong and Ruby appears to be an attentive mother.”

The Rhino calf’s father, ‘Monty’, and mother, ‘Ruby’, are both nine years old. In 2009, Ruby (along with another female called ‘Nancy’) made the eleven thousand kilometer journey from Mafunyane Game Farm, in South Africa, to the UK to join the young male, Monty, at their new Oxfordshire home. It was hoped that, one day, they would successfully produce the Park’s first ever Rhino calf. Monty has since fathered two calves. Nancy gave birth to a female, ‘Astrid’, in 2013, and now Ian has followed twenty months later.

Females only reproduce every two-and-a-half to five years, so the window of opportunity for successful reproduction is limited. Unbelievably, these iconic animals were once the rarest subspecies of any Rhino, and they were on the verge of extinction in the early 1900s. It was believed only twenty to fifty animals remained in their native African homeland, during that time period. However, thanks to excellent and sustained protection, they are now the most common of the five Rhino subspecies. The White Rhino is currently classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List.

The calf has been named ‘Ian’ in memory of the highly respected South African conservationist, Ian Player, who spearheaded efforts to rescue the Southern White Rhino from extinction. The Park’s original Rhino pair, called ‘Lebombo’ and ‘Somtuli’, arrived from Umfolozi in 1972 as a direct result of Ian’s Rhino conservation initiatives with South Africa’s Natal Parks Board. His memory lives on in the Park’s Rhino family.

Visitors to Cotswold can see the new calf daily from 10am to 6pm (last entry at 4.30pm) in the solar powered Rhino House.

More pics and incredible video, below the fold!

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White Rhino Legacy Continues at the Wilds

Rhino (White) Calf 3749 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

A male Southern White Rhino was born at the Wilds, in Ohio, on November 12th.  He is the first fifth-generation White Rhino, on record, to be born outside of Africa.

Rhino (White) Calf 3778 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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Rhino (White) Calf 3696 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and AquariumPhoto Credits: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center in Southeast Ohio, produced the first fourth-generation White Rhino outside of Africa in 2009, and remains the only facility to produce fourth-generation calves; seven have been born to date.

“The birth of fourth and now fifth-generation White Rhinos in human care is a remarkable achievement,” said President/CEO Tom Stalf. “We attribute this success to our expansive habitats and large herds that allow for natural social behavior, as well as the specialized care they receive from our dedicated team.”

This is the first calf for ‘Anan’, whose birth was also notable since she was the first fourth-generation rhino born at the Wilds. The calf’s father is ‘Fireball’, who was born in 2002 and arrived at the Wilds in 2008. Before leaving for another zoo in 2013, as part of the Species Survival Plan, Fireball sired ten calves while at the Wilds. 

This is the 16th White Rhino born at the Wilds; the conservation center has also produced five Asian One-Horned Rhinos.

“The calf appears to be doing well, but the first few weeks are always a critical time for any newborn,” said Dan Beetem, Director of Animal Management. “They will spend the winter inside our Rhino Management Center and move into our open pastures in the spring.”

Continue reading "White Rhino Legacy Continues at the Wilds" »


Thank Heaven for Not-So-Little Girls

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After 20 years of eager anticipation, the Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan (Safari), can now say they are home to a female White Rhino calf!  

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0770_2014_08_15_020Photo Credits: Tibor Jager

Twenty-one year old mother, Tanda, gave birth to the 100 lb. calf on September 3rd.  The new little girl has been given the name Teshi, which is Swahili for ‘joyful and happy’.  The new name is the perfect moniker, as she has already brought much joy to the staff and visitors of the Safari!

Zookeepers closely monitored the mother and noticed her marked weight gain and other indicators of the impending birth.  Tanda, who suffers from chronic inflammation of her eye, had spent the last few months in a fenced-off enclosure in the African Savannah exhibit area to enable her to receive regular medical treatment.

Till now, Tanda’s youngest son, Terkel, was in the enclosure with her, but as her time of birth approached, she tried to distance him from the area.  Keepers helped her by moving her young son out and allowing her the space she desired.

In the end, Tanda gave birth at night, and zookeepers discovered the new baby the next morning.  Within a few minutes, they managed to identify the calf as female.

Rami Tam, Supervisor of the African Savannah area, said, “It’s been 20 years since a female rhino was born here, and the significance is that she will be able to stay with us in the Safari also after she matures, and that’s the cause for much joy!”

During recent years, two males were born in the Safari: Tibor and Terkel.  When they mature, they will be transferred to other zoos that participate in the White Rhino Reproduction Project.  The little female rhino just born will remain in the Safari, and continue the zoological center's dynasty.

More great photos and info below the fold!

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Help Name Tampa's New Baby White Rhino!

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At Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, a Southern White Rhinoceros calf was born in the early morning hours on Wednesday, December 7, to second-time mother “Kidogo” in the African Rhino boma (barn) which houses the animals overnight. The birth marks the second Rhino born at the Zoo this year, preceded by an Indian Rhinoceros (also known as the greater one-horned rhinoceros) born in July.

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Photo credits: Zoo docent Dave Parkinson

“Every rhino birth, regardless of which species, is significant in our global efforts to protect these animals,” noted Dr. Larry Killmar, VP and director of collections. “During the past 16 months, the animal care staff applied sound animal husbandry principals that resulted in this, our second successful birth of a southern white rhino.”

Continue reading "Help Name Tampa's New Baby White Rhino!" »


Florida's Newest Little Lady

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Meet Laini, Lion Country Safari's newest "little" lady, weighing in at a healthy 50 lbs. Born April 28th after a 16 month gestation, this Southern White Rhinoceros calf will remain with mom in the rhino calving pen for about three months, giving the pair time to bond. After that, they will roam freely in Lion Country Safari’s Hwange National Park with the other White Rhinos, including dad Ronnie.

Notice the "insert horn here" nub on Laini in the picture below. Her horn will grow between 1-3 inches per year so it will take a while to get to a formidable size.

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Baby Rhino and Parents

Laini means fragile/endangered in Swahili, and the Southern White Rhinoceros is indeed threatened by poaching and habitat destruction. Since 1979, Lion Country Safari has had 32 rhino offspring. Little Laini was born as part of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA).


Five Little Rhinos in Six Short Years

A baby White Rhinoceros was born at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on July 13, the first calf born to mother Kisiri and the fifth calf born to father Tambo. Busch Gardens has celebrated a total of five white rhino births since October 2004, four of which are female. The new baby weighed an estimated 140 pounds at the time of the birth. The newborn – who has yet to be named – will gain approximately four pounds each day until it reaches an adult weight of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 pounds.

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Busch Gardens participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure genetic diversification among threatened and endangered animals in zoological facilities. The birth brings the total White and Black Rhino population at the park to 13.

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Photo credits: Matt Marriott / Busch Gardens Tampa Bay