PICS: Dublin Zoo delighted to announce the arrival of southern white rhino calf
Ah, would you look at him there.
Dublin Zoo says it is “delighted” to announce the arrival of a southern white rhinoceros calf that arrived into the world last Thursday, August 25, at approximately 1.45pm.
The male calf, who is yet to be named, was born to mother Ashanti and father Chaka and weighs approximately 60kgs.
He joins the rest of the herd – Sam, Reni, Chaka, Zanta, Nyala and his mother Ashanti - at the African Savanna in Dublin Zoo.
The newborn is Ashanti’s fifth calf and is another significant success for Dublin Zoo as part of the European Endangered Species Programme established to assist the survival of the near threatened southern white rhinoceros.
With numbers as low as 50 left in the wild in the early 1900s, this subspecies of white rhino increased to become the most common of all the rhino species. However, the alarming increase in poaching since 2008 threatens the rhinoceros population in the wild.
It is estimated that 20,000 of these animals exist in the wild; the majority are found in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya. Poaching for rhino horn is the most significant threat to the wild population.
Dublin Zoo financially supports the conservation organisation Lowveld Rhino Trust, who are based in Zimbabwe and help protect rhinos from poachers.
Although the young calf does not yet have a name, the children of Ireland are invited to suggest one for him based on his African origin. Name suggestions can be submitted at www.DublinZoo.ie
Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the new arrival. Ashanti is an experienced mother and the birth was very relaxed. The mother and calf are bonding and will remain very close for the first year of his life.”
On September 24 and 25, Dublin Zoo will be hosting Rhino Awareness Weekend where visitors can learn about rhinos and the threats they face in the wild. The family event will have lots of fun activities including face-painting, nail art and much more.