Arnhem, 10 February 2022 - On Thursday morning, 10 February 2022, under the watchful eye of its mother, the three-month-old square-lipped rhinoceros calf made its first acquaintance with giraffes, zebras and antelope on the savannah plains of Burgers' Zoo. The male calf was born on 26 October 2021 as the eighth young from the experienced mother and is the fourteenth rhino birth in the Arnhem Zoo since 1977. Burgers' Zoo is one of Europe's most successful breeders of square-lipped rhinoceros.
Mother's watchful eye
Young square-lipped rhinoceros are usually quite inquisitive. They can also be very enterprising, knowing that their mother, who weighs around two thousand kilos, is never far away to act as their personal bodyguard. The other animal species on the Arnhem savannah—giraffes, zebras and antelope—reacted curiously to the energetic newcomer, as expected.
One of Europe's most successful breeders
Fourteen square-lipped rhinos have been born in Burgers' Zoo since 1977. This puts the Arnhem Zoo in the top five of Europe's most successful breeders of this endangered species. Together with Serengeti-Park Hodenhagen in Germany, Knowsley Safari Park in England, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in England and Safaripark Beekse Bergen in The Netherlands, Burgers’ Zoo forms the top five breeders of rhinoceros in Europe.
European population management programme
Safaripark Beekse Bergen in the Netherlands coordinates the European programme for population management of square-lipped rhinoceros. The best matches between animals are based on DNA research to keep the genetic variation within the population as large as possible. Under this programme, animals move to and from zoos with square-lipped rhinoceros throughout Europe. Two hundred ninety-six square-lipped rhinoceros live in 75 European zoos—126 males and 170 females.