Rhino Calf is a Surprise for Burgers' Zoo
July 27, 2014
As keepers at the Netherlands’ Burgers’ Zoo were moving the White Rhino herd into the stables at the end of the day on July 23, they got a big surprise – Kwanzaa, a female Rhino, had delivered a male calf!
Kwanzaa refused to go into the stables so soon after giving birth, so she and her newborn calf remained outdoors. Keepers left the stable doors open so Kwanzaa and her calf could move inside when they felt ready. Sometime in the night, they did go into the stable, where they have remained for the last few days. After a week or so, keepers plan to allow Kwanzaa and her calf to move back into the outdoor yard.
The Rhino calf’s arrival was not a complete surprise. Pregnancy hormone levels in the Rhinos’ manure are tested regularly, and Kwanzaa was expected to deliver in about one month. White Rhinos are pregnant for about 17 months. The calf, who has not been named, weighed about 50 pounds at birth, and gains about 3 pounds per day.
White Rhinos are threatened by illegal hunting in their African home ranges. Poachers kill Rhinos only for their horns, which are used in traditional medicines and as coveted ornaments.
See more photos of the calf below.