Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo have recently celebrated a special birthday with Kufara the Black Rhino turning one!

Kufara was born on 17 February 2010 to first-time mother Bakhita and was the first second-generation rhino to be born at the Zoo.

Over the last 12 months, Kufara has been busy growing steadily both in size and personality.  Kufara has definitely taken on the personality of both parents, with her mother’s confidence and her father’s gentle nature.

Kufara
Kufara, the Black Rhinoceros born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo turned one on 17th February 2011.
“It was an exciting time when Kufara was born and over the past year it has been wonderful watching her grow and develop,” said keeper Katie Boyer. 

Keepers have been working closely with Kufara to build a relationship of trust and cooperation.  A highlight each day for the Black Rhino keepers is the tactile session with Kufara.  

“She really enjoys having her belly rubbed which is great because it allows us as well as veterinary staff to get very close to monitor her health, both now and into the future,” said Katie.  

Kufara has been a popular attraction at the Zoo with thousands of people coming to the Black Rhino exhibit to see this rare new addition over the past year.

“Today we have given Kufara and Bakhita some special treats to mark this milestone.  They have some browse and fruit spikes out in their exhibit which are their favourites,” said Katie.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is recognised internationally for its Black Rhino breeding program and the research conducted here on site which has produced the world’s first Black Rhino embryo in 2008.

The Black Rhinoceros is classified as critically endangered with only 4230 left in the wild.  Poaching is the single largest threat to its on-going survival in the wild.

Black Rhinoceros Breeding Program

Black Rhinoceros Breeding Program
Poachers in Zimbabwe are decimating this species – numbers dropped from 546 to 432 in 2009 – but Taronga’s breeding program has produced 11 calves.