Taronga Western Plains Zoo is delighted to announce the White Rhino calf born on 14 May 2013 has been named Macheo (pronounced Ma-Che-O) meaning ‘sunrise’ in Swahili.
The name was chosen by a long-term supporter of the Zoo who selected the name after learning the calf was born in the early hours of the morning.
“We are really ecstatic about the calf’s name and think it is very fitting. Not only for the fact that he was born at sunrise but also we hope that his birth signals the dawn of a new era for the Zoo’s White Rhino herd and also rhinos in the wild,” said Senior White Rhino keeper, Pascale Benoit.
“Over the past few weeks Macheo has been going from strength to strength, growing in confidence and starting to explore his environment,” said Pascale.
“Macheo is definitely keeping first-time mother, Mopani on her toes but he does enjoy a nap in the sun on a warm winter’s day,” said Pascale.
Macheo is growing and developing well and now weighs approximately 150kgs, displaying all the right behaviours for a rhino calf. The youngster is very inquisitive and a little mischievous.
“It’s great time to come and see Macheo especially during the school holidays as there will be a special free keeper talk at 2:15pm daily where visitors can learn more about this special new addition to the herd and the plight of Rhino species in the wild,” said Pascale.
Poaching continues to be a massive threat to the existence of rhinos in Africa and Asia. Already this year 428 Rhinos have been killed in South Africa for their horn. Whilst numbers of White Rhinos in the wild are remaining steady at present due to conservation action, it can all change very rapidly.