Rhino

Rhino Calf Charges Into Lowry Park Zoo

Africa white rhino Alake and calf may 27 2015

A baby Southern White Rhinoceros born May 21 at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has increased the zoo’s herd by one, but the wild population of these magnificent beasts grows smaller every day.

Africa white rhino Alake and calf 2 may 27 2015

Africa white rhino calf 1 may 27 2015
Photo Credit: Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

  

 

The female calf is already important to the breeding population because she carries the genes of her mother Alaka, who came to the zoo from Africa.  Introducing new bloodlines is important for maintaining genetic diversity in the zoo-dwelling population.  The newborn marks the fourth successful Southern White Rhino birth and the seventh Rhino born in the zoo’s history.

The zoo is currently home to a herd of five Southern White Rhinos: three adult females from the Phinda Reserve in Africa, one adult male, and the newborn. In keeping with a natural herd structure, Alake and her calf have begun introductions to the other Rhinos and Grevy’s Zebras that share their habitat.

The White Rhinoceros has two horns at the end of its muzzle, with the largest in the front. Unlike some Rhinos, White Rhinos use their horns for defense. Females use their horns to protect their young while males use them to battle each other. Adult White Rhinos can reach weights of about 5,000 pounds, with most calves weighing between 80-140 pounds.

While the birth is welcome news for the managed population, record numbers of Rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa last year. Despite increased protection efforts, the number of Rhinos killed by poachers jumped 21 percent to 1,215. The current poaching crisis is driven by the demand for Rhino horn in Southeast Asia where horn, which is made up of keratin -- the same material found in human hair and nails -- is believed to have medicinal properties.   

See more photos of the Rhino calf below.

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Boisterous Black Rhino Boy Makes Debut

1_Black Rhino calf by Rick Stevens May 2015 (7)

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is thrilled to announce the arrival of a male Black Rhino calf, born in the very early hours of Monday April 20th

2_Black Rhino calf by Rick Stevens May 2015 (1)

3_Black Rhino calf by Rick Stevens May 2015 (4)

4_Black Rhino calf by Rick Stevens May 2015 (8)Photo Credits: Rick Stevens /Taronga Western Plains Zoo

The yet-to-be-named arrival is the second calf born to mother ‘Bakhita’, and the third calf born in 10 years to the Zoo’s internationally renowned breeding program for this critically endangered species.

“With just over 4,000 Black Rhinos remaining, and all five rhino species under enormous pressure in the wild, every birth is critical,” said General Manager, Matthew Fuller.

“This little rhino is precious, as are all rhinos, and we’re hopeful that his birth will further highlight the need to protect these remarkable creatures.”

The calf, which weighs between 30-40kg, has already captured the hearts of zookeepers. His birth, ahead of Mother’s Day, is a great reminder of the achievements of the remarkable wild mothers in the zoo’s care.

“At three weeks of age, he is very confident and bold,” Keeper Jake Williams said. “He is full of energy and likes to run flat out around his yard, first thing in the morning, sometimes venturing 15-20 meters from Bakhita before galloping back to her. He is a strong calf and doesn’t show much fear.”

Mr. Williams said experienced mother Bakhita is taking things in her stride.

“She’s doing all the right things. She is alert when keepers approach her yard and is protective of her calf, but she quickly settles. She is a pretty relaxed mother.”

Bakhita and the calf will remain behind the scenes for the coming weeks, where they can continue to bond, before going on public display in June.

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UPDATE: Rhino Calf's Horn Starts to Sprout!

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An Eastern Black Rhinoceros calf born on December 28 at Switzerland’s Zoo Zurich is out to prove that she’s growing up.  Not only is this little female calf, named Olmoti, starting to grow her horn, she’s also practicing her charging skills, as seen in the video below.

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11043098_922767824441190_1390896438203456598_oPhoto Credit:  Zoo Zurich/Enzo Franchini



Video Credit:  Nicole Schnyder

You first met Olmoti
here shortly after her birth.  Now over two months old, her horn is beginning to grow on her snout.  You can see the little “button” that will slowly grow into a horn. 

In the video, Olmoti charges at her mother in little bursts, a skill all Rhinos use as a defense against unfamiliar things. Rhinos have relatively poor eyesight, so when taken by surprise, they may rush at people, vehicles, stationary objects, or other Rhinos to frighten them off.

Unfortunately for Rhinos, their horns led to a 96% loss in population from the 1970s to the 1990s, putting these unique animals on the brink of extinction.  Demand for Rhino horn, which is made of keratin like your hair and fingernails, has exploded in the last 40 years.  Sold on illegal markets, Rhino horn is used in traditional Asian medicine and for traditional dagger handles in Yemen. 

Thanks to enhanced protection and Yemen signing the Convention on International trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Black Rhino populations are slowly increasing.  However, these animals are still Critically Endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  


Black Rhino Birth Caught on Camera at Chester Zoo

Baby black rhino born at Chester Zoo (1)The amazing moment of a Rhino giving birth has been caught on camera at Chester Zoo. The 50-second footage shows the mother deliver her newborn and the tender first moments as she checks over her calf. 

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10980701_10153007305125912_5799333752593217516_nPhoto Credits: Chester Zoo

Born on January 31st, the female calf, which keepers have named ‘Fara’, is the offspring of 17-year-old ‘Kitani’ and 15-year-old dad, ‘Sammy’. 

Sammy’s genes are extremely valuable as he has never before sired a calf since moving from Japan in 2002 to join the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme for the critically endangered animals. 

Curator of mammals at Chester Zoo, Tim Rowlands, said, “Kitani’s delivery was textbook. We got a ‘maternity suite’ ready for her with deep sandy floors and beds of hay but ultimately she chose her own spot.

“The footage has enabled us to witness this really special moment and both mum and youngster are doing really, really well.

“Every birth is cause for great celebration but given that Eastern Black Rhino face a real threat of extinction our new arrival is even more significant. The calf is super important to the breeding programme in Europe and her arrival is another step towards sustaining a black rhino population which, in the wild, is being ravaged by poachers on an almost daily basis.”  

In the wild there are thought to be less than 650 Eastern Black Rhinos remaining, pushing the species perilously close to extinction.

Numbers in Africa are plummeting as a result of a dramatic surge in illegal poaching, fuelled by a global increase in demand for Rhino horn to supply the traditional Asian medicine market.

The problem is being driven by the astonishing street value of Rhino horn, which is currently worth more per gram than gold and cocaine.

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Rhino Calf is Zoo's First in 35 Years

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A Rhinoceros calf born at the Copenhagen Zoo is the first of this endangered species to be born at the zoo in 35 years.

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1553143_940214189323729_7810544619005624505_oPhoto Credit:  Copenhagen Zoo

The calf appears healthy and is nursing well from its mother.  Just moments after birth, the 110-pound (50kg) calf took its first steps.  Zoo guests can peek into the den for a glimpse of the calf. 

One hundred years ago, there were half a million Black and White Rhinos in the wild.  Today, that figure stands at less than 30,000.  This calf will play an important role in the future of the species.  

See more photos of the Rhino Calf below.

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Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

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Zoo Zurich has eagerly waited 18 years to be able to announce the birth of a new East African Black Rhino. After years of failed breeding attempts, the zoo has been closely monitoring the recent pregnancy of one of their females. Finally, on December 28th, 14-year-old mother, ‘Samira’, and 15-year-old father, ‘Jeremy’, welcomed a healthy, feisty rhino girl, named ‘Olmoti’!

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10866068_902158129835493_3119401308197719972_oPhoto Credits: Zoo Zurich/Peter Bolliger (Images 1,3,4); Zoo Zurich/Enzo Franchini (Images 2,5,6)

When fully grown, Olmoti could grow to 12 feet long and five feet high at the shoulder, and she could weigh up to 3,000 pounds.

Eastern Black Rhinos, in the wild, inhabit transitional zones between grasslands and forests, generally in thick thorn bush or acacia scrub. However, they may also be found in more open country.

As a herbivorous browser, the Black Rhino eats leafy plants as well as branches, shoots, thorny wood bushes and fruit. Rhino skin harbors many external parasites, which are eaten by tickbirds and egrets that live with the rhino. In the wild, young are preyed upon by hyenas. These solitary animals are more nocturnal than diurnal. Females are not territorial; their ranges vary according to food supply. Males are more aggressive in defending turf, but will tolerate properly submissive male intruders.

Mating is non-seasonal, but births peak toward the end of the rainy season in drier habitats. Gestation is 15-16 months, after which single young are born weighing about 85 pounds. These calves are active soon after birth and can follow mother after about three days. Eastern Black Rhinos mature at five years.

Continue reading "Good Things Come to Those Who Wait" »


A Big Bottle For a Big Baby

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At three weeks old, a Greater One-horned Rhino calf at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has no problem with the super-sized bottle wielded by a zoo keeper.  This little Rhino gulps down a bottle every two hours and gains almost four pounds each day.

Born on November 27, the male calf, who has not yet been named, was cared for by his mother for almost two weeks, but he was not gaining weight as he should.  To provide the calf with the optimal care to thrive, he was taken to the Safari Park’s animal care center where he is watched around-the-clock, bottle-fed every two hours, and taken outdoors for exercise each day.

After only a week in the nursery, the little Rhino is growing:  he weighed 160 pounds at birth and currently weighs 190 pounds.  Adult Rhinos weigh between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds.

Once widespread in Southeast Asia, the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros is now found only in India and Nepal. This species is listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to poaching threats. There are an estimated 3,250 Greater One-horned Rhinos remaining in the wild. This calf is the 68th Greater One-horned Rhino born at the Safari Park since 1975, making the Park the foremost breeding facility in the world for this species. 

Photo Credit:  Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

 

 

 


Rumble of Little Rhino Feet at Zoo Berlin

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On October 2nd, Zoo Berlin’s Black Rhino, ‘Maburi’, gave birth to a healthy baby boy!

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ZooBerlin_BlackRhino_4Photo Credits: Zoo Berlin (1,2,3); Peter Griesbach (4,5)

The yet-to-be named bull calf is, according to keepers, doing exceedingly well.  Even without a horn, he can confidently stand on his short, sturdy legs and survey his surroundings. Soon after birth, the calf nursed for a short while and was soon standing on all fours. Protective mother, Maburi, is keeping watch over him in the safe confines of the rhino barn, at the zoo.

Zoo Berlin Director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem, said, “The Zoo Berlin is world famous for its successful Black Rhino breeding. The small bull is already the 18th born in Berlin. We are very excited about the new breeding success of the highly endangered species.”

The Black Rhinoceros is native to eastern and central Africa. Although it is referred to as ‘black’, its colors vary from brown to grey. Overall, the species is classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.

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One-Horned Rhino Calf Born at the Wilds

Rhino calf at the Wilds 004, Jeff Hammer

The Wilds, in Ohio, welcomed a Greater One-Horned Asian Rhinoceros, also known as an Indian rhino, on August 30th. The calf was born out in pasture with the rest of the herd and is the sixth One-Horned Rhino born at the Wilds.

Rhino calf at the Wilds 001, Jeff Hammer

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Rhino calf at the Wilds 006, Jeff HammerPhoto Credits: Jeff Hammer

Dan Beetem, Director of Animal Management, said, “We had been watching the mother very closely over the past week. Her udder development and behavior told us the birth was imminent; however there are several good hiding places across 100 acres. The calf is doing well and already enjoys swimming in the lake with mom.”

The Greater One-Horned Rhino calf, whose sex has yet to be determined, marks the continued success of the One-Horned Rhino breeding program at the Wilds conservation center located in southeast Ohio.

The calf is the third for 15-year-old dam, Sanya, and the third for 11-year-old sire, Rustum.  Rustum came to the Wilds in 2007 as part of a group imported by the Zoological Society of San Diego to bring new genetics into the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) program.

Born after a gestation of nearly 16 months, One-Horned Rhinos can grow to be 4,800 pounds and six feet tall at the shoulder. Their range is the plains or woodlands of northern India, Bhutan and Nepal.

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Rhino Calf is a Surprise for Burgers' Zoo

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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!

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10351811_792013610871533_6350523479992007433_nPhoto Credit:  Burgers' Zoo

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.

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