Posted on 02nd May 2022 by Media Relations
In an exciting step for the regional breeding program, Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo has farewelled one White Rhino bull and welcomed another in a collaborative exchange with Monarto Safari Park in South Australia.
The Zoo’s resident breeding bull, Umfana, travelled to his new home in Monarto last week, making the 13-hour road trip in a purpose-built crate. Monarto Safari Park’s breeding bull Satara then made the return trip to Dubbo.
Both bulls travelled very well throughout their respective journeys, thanks to months of careful planning and preparations. They will each assume breeding responsibilities at their new homes, as both are genetically important bulls critical to sustaining the insurance population for their species in Australia.
“Here at Taronga Western Plains, we started crate training Umfana about nine months ago. We introduced him to his travelling crate, which he became very familiar and comfortable with over time,” said White Rhino Keeper Bobby-Jo Vial.
“On the day of his departure he went into the crate really smoothly and travelled very well throughout. Our Senior Veterinarian accompanied him and returned with Satara, who was unloaded safely here in Dubbo.”
Likewise Satara has settled in very quickly to life at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
“He has a lovely calm nature, which his Keepers at Monarto had described to us, and it’s been so nice to see this virtually straight away,” Bobby-Jo said.
“Satara enjoys getting a good scratch and rub down from his keepers. We’re all really enjoying working with him and look forward to introducing him to our herd.”
Satara will be introduced to four females at Taronga Western Plains Zoo – Mopani, Likwesi, Kamari and Meeka. It is hoped he will breed with Kamari and also, in time, Meeka.
“Satara, like Umfana, is a proven breeding bull. Although we are sad to farewell Umfana, we’re so happy that he’ll continue to play an important role in the breeding program for his species at his new Monarto home. Likewise we have high hopes for Satara, also a proven breeding bull, to do the same here at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.”
Satara will remain behind the scenes whilst he undertakes mandatory quarantine, before being gradually introduced to the Dubbo herd.
The Southern White Rhinoceros is classified as endangered in the wild. Taronga Western Plains Zoo has a long-established breeding program for this species.