Molly is the newest addition to the Rhino family at Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens. She is the eighth Rhino calf to be born at the Burford collection and is Monty and Ruby’s fourth breeding success together. Births in captivity are considered rare, with only nineteen White Rhinos being born in European zoos in the last twelve months. Her birth is testament to the dedication of the mammal keepers and the Park’s commitment to the European Breeding Programme (EEP).
White Rhinos (Ceratotherium simum ssp. simum) have always been an important species at the Park and considerable thought is given to naming these iconic animals. Previous calves have been named after the founder of Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens, Mr. John Heyworth, and highly respected South African conservationist, Ian Player, who spearheaded efforts to rescue the Southern White Rhino from extinction. This time the honour was given to Head Keeper Mark Godwin (pictured right with his children Henry and Molly).
Mark has worked at the Park for 31 years and has looked after the ever-growing 'crash' of Rhinos for the last 13 years. This is the first Rhino calf he has named. He decided to call her Molly after his four-year-old daughter (pictured left meeting her namesake). Molly described having a Rhino named after her as “amazing!”. Mark's family live on-site at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Molly, along with her five-year-old brother Henry, has grown up at the wildlife park and the siblings regularly visit their favourites - the Rhinos. During lockdown when the Park was temporarily closed to the public, they even lent their dad a helping hand by mucking out the Rhinos and Camels. Spending their childhood at the Park has sparked a passion for wildlife and both would like to follow in their father’s footsteps and work with animals when they’re older.
Cotswold Wildlife Park is committed to Rhino conservation and works closely with the UK-based conservation charity Tusk Trust to protect Africa’s many threatened species. In October 2021, Reggie Heyworth, the Park’s Managing Director and a Tusk Trust Ambassador, ran the London Marathon in aid of Tusk Trust and raised over £12,000 for the charity. Reggie Heyworth (pictured right), explains: “Conservation programmes throughout Africa’s wildlife areas and national parks often depend on income from tourism and support from charities such as Tusk Trust. With so few tourists visiting Africa, it is all the more important for us to support the work of Tusk Trust, who fund over forty programmes throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including vital work to protect rhinos and elephants from poachers”. For more information about Tusk Trust, please visit www.tusk.org.
SAN DIEGO (Aug. 27, 2021) – A six-day-old female southern white rhino calf explored the Safari Park’s 60-acre African Savanna earlier this morning—running, playing and curiously getting close to Cape buffalo that share her habitat—all under the watchful eye of her protective mother. The calf, yet to be named, was born in the early hours of Aug. 22 to first-time mom Kianga, and father J Gregory.
“We are delighted to welcome this calf to the Safari Park’s crash of southern white rhinos,” said Lisa Peterson, executive director, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “Babies are always delightful—cute and fun to watch grow—but more importantly, they serve as ambassadors for their species. Seeing a rhino up close allows our guests to connect with them, with the hope they gain a greater appreciation for them, and the vitally important need to conserve and protect rhinos and their native habitats.”
Wildlife care specialists report the calf is healthy and nursing well—and Kianga is proving to be an excellent mother, who is very attentive to her offspring. Estimated to weigh around 125 pounds at birth, the little ungulate with big feet will nurse from her mother for up to 12 months; and she is expected to gain about 100 pounds a month for the first year. When full grown, at around 3 years of age, she could weigh between 4,000 to 5,000 pounds.
Rhinos are very important to the ecosystems in which they reside. Southern white rhinos live in the savannas of Africa. These gentle giants are mega-herbivores, grazing on grasses—which helps maintain the diverse African grasslands, increasing plant diversity and providing grazing areas for other animals that share their natural habitat, such as elephants, zebras, antelope and gazelles.
There are an estimated 18,000 southern white rhinos remaining in Africa. The southern white rhino is classified as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, due to poaching threats and illegal trafficking of rhino horn. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has been working for more than 40 years, along with other accredited zoos, to keep a sustainable population of rhinos safe under human care while working to protect them in sanctuaries in their native habitats.
Kianga’s calf is the 104th southern white rhino calf born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park since 1972. The rhino calf and mom can best be seen roaming their habitat from the Park’s Africa Tram, a Wildlife Safari, a Balloon Safari or from the Park’s giraffe cam (showcasing a multitude of wildlife including rhinos, giraffes, Nile lechwe, African crowned cranes, gazelles and other species) viewable online at sdzsafaripark.org/giraffe-cam.
Exciting news from the Zoological Center Ramat Gan! Rihanna the southern White Rhino has given birth for the 3rd time!
Five years after giving birth to Rami and 2 years after giving birth to Rainy-Rafiki, it's time for 11 year old Rhianna to expand the family. This time it's a boy!
The keepers have calculated a year and a half from the day they observed her mating with the male Atari and were expecting the new calf for a while.
By the morning of June 6th Rihanna was seen walking with a tiny but strong rhino calf by her side.
Rhianna is an experienced mother, but in order to keep her and the calf safe the keepers are keeping an eye on the two all day.
Soon after the birth the mother and calf was led to a fenced area in Ramat Gan’s African Park where they can get used to one another in peace. In a few weeks, when the calf is stronger they will both be roaming the African park with the rest of the Rhinos, Hippos and the antelopes.
Southern White are endangered species.
This is the 33rd Southern White Rhino born at the Zoological Center Ramat Gan and we are excited and proud for this contribution the Rhino zoo population.
The zoological Center Ramat Gan is a leading zoo in southern white Rhino breeding and every birth is good news for the zoo community, as keeping a viable and sustainable Rhino breeding program is crucial for Rhino conservation.
The Zoological Center Ramat Gan is dedicated to creating inspiring and respectful encounters between humans and wild animals, and to play a significant role in nature conservation and breeding programs for endangered wildlife species.
His name is Ruvi!
We have received thousands of name suggestions for new born calf.
Finally our name committee has decided on the name Ruvi in honor of the soon to be former Israeli president Reuven Rivlin. Ruvi is the president's nick name.
On Sunday, April 4, 2021, a healthy white rhinoceros calf was born at Royal Burgers’ Zoo in Arnem, The Netherlands. The male is the fourth offspring for this experienced mother and was born at 7:44 am on Easter Sunday. Burgers’ Zoo has been particularly successful in breeding white rhinoceroses and has ranked among the top five European Zoos for breeding them in recent years.
The birth went smoothly. At birth, baby a white rhinoceros weighs an average of 50 to 60 kilos. They grow very fast during the first days of life, its body weight increasing by 1.5 to 2 kg a day.
The calf’s 17-year-old mother traveled from Kolmarden, Sweden to Arnhem in 2013. In Sweden, the then young female was still living alongside her mother, which most likely explains why she failed to reproduce there. Biologists see this more often in white rhinoceroses.
Please check out Burgers’ Zoo’s channel for more great videos!
Cumberland, OH – There’s a baby boom of sorts happening at The Wilds and the team is buzzing with excitement as they celebrate the birth of a third white rhinoceros. The male calf was born on December 24, 2020 in the rhinos’ large, heated barn. This calf is the 25th white rhino to be born at The Wilds.
Photo credit: Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The male calf and his mother, 16-year-old Zenzele, also born at The Wilds, are doing well. The calf appears to be strong and is nursing alongside his mother.
Zenzele, a seasoned mother, is doing well and watching after her little one. This is Zenzele’s fifth calf and the seventh calf that father, Roscoe, has sired. Roscoe was born at the Knoxville Zoo. He moved to the Seneca Park Zoo when he was 2 years old and has been living at The Wilds since 2014.
It was a busy December at The Wilds! On December 9, a female white rhino calf was born to mother, Kifaru, and on December 18, a male white rhino calf was born to mother, Kali. All three calves were sired by Roscoe. The Animal Management team says that the two older calves have been physically introduced to one another, taking part in fun and energetic playdates. They have also met the most recent arrival through the fences and will have a chance to play with him, too. The names of the three calves will be announced soon!
The Wilds is the only facility outside of Africa that has rhinos born four and five generations removed from their wild-born ancestors. That success continues with this latest birth. Zenzele was the very first rhino to be born at The Wilds and she has lived at The Wilds her entire life. Two of her daughters and two of her granddaughters are still in our herd at The Wilds. This latest newborn is the 11th fourth generation calf.
The pairings of Zenzele and Roscoe was recommended through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). This program is designed to maintain a sustainable population and genetic diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care. The Wilds has also welcomed the births of eight Asian one-horned rhinos since 2005. The most recent Asian one-horned rhino calf, a female named Rohini, was welcomed into The Wilds’ family on August 24, 2019.
“Three baby white rhinoceros calves born in one month—we’re going to have our hands full!” said Dr. Jan Ramer, vice president of The Wilds. “These babies and the rest of our southern white rhino herd are wonderful ambassadors for their wild cousins, giving our guests the opportunity to connect with and appreciate these magnificent animals. We are proud to be leaders within the zoological community in helping to sustain populations of white rhinoceros through the addition of this latest calf.”
“The multigenerational herd is a true testament to our Animal Management team’s expertise and the great care they provide to the animals. White rhinos continue to face many challenges in their native range, and the arrival of each calf is a cause for celebration. Each birth is vital in protecting the future of the species,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf.
The white rhino population had dwindled to an estimated 50 to 200 individuals at the beginning of the 20th century. Still, through conservation efforts, the population of white rhinos in their native range in Africa has rebounded to about 20,400 animals. However, even with the increase in numbers, the species remains classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). All five remaining rhino species in Africa and Asia (white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, greater one-horned rhinoceros, Javan rhinoceros and Sumatran rhinoceros) are killed by poachers who sell rhino horn for ornamental or traditional medicinal purposes even though there are no scientifically proven health benefits for its use. The horns are made of keratin—the same substance that makes up fingernails and hair. The International Rhino Foundation estimates that one rhino is killed every 10 hours for its horn.
White rhino calves are born after a gestation of 16 months and they can grow to be 4,000 pounds and six feet tall at their shoulder. Their habitats typically consist of plains or woodlands, interspersed with grassy openings. Through reintroduction efforts, their native range has been established in southern and eastern African countries.
Their physical characteristics are two pointed horns and a wide mouth suitable for grazing. The name white rhinoceros originated from the Afrikaans word describing the animal’s mouth – wyd, meaning “wide.” Early English settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the word wyd for “white.”
To further protect the future of rhinos, The Wilds and the Columbus Zoo has provided more than $218,000 in the last five years in support of conservation projects benefiting rhinos in their native ranges, such as monitoring black and white rhinos in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region through the International Rhino Foundation, protecting black rhinos in the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary in Kenya through the African Wildlife Foundation and habitat restoration focused on the shortgrass that white rhinos eat through the White Rhinos: Rhinoceros Fund Uganda.
Guests may have the opportunity to view the calves and their mothers, along with the other rhinos in the rhino barn during a Winter at The Wilds Tour. Tours are available at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. through April. Please note that reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance.
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.
Photo 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.
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.
Photo 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.
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.
Photo Credits: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
TheWilds, 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.”
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.
“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.”