Taronga Western Plains Zoo is thrilled to announce that the male Black Rhino calf born at the zoo in April is now on display with his mother Bakhita.
The calf, which was born in the very early hours of Monday 20 April, is now two months old and has been named Dafari, meaning first born son. Dafari is the second calf born to Bakhita, who was also born at the Zoo, and the third calf born in 10 years to the Zoo’s internationally renowned breeding program for this critically endangered species.
Dafari is settling in to his new surroundings very well, according to Zoo Keepers.
“Dafari is a very confident calf,” Keeper Scott Smith said. “From an early age he could be seen running and galloping around his enclosure, and he is much the same now he is on exhibit.”
Dafari weighed approximately 30-40kg when first born, and recently weighed in at a whopping 125kg. “Dafari has a big appetite,” Scott said. “He’s drinking from Bakhita and is also starting to eat a little bit of solid food. Bakhita is continuing to be a great mother, she is alert and protective but is also relaxed.”
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is home to three species of rhino – Black Rhino and White Rhino (Africa) and Greater One-horned or Indian Rhino (Asia), with breeding and conservation programs for each of these species.
Sadly the Black Rhino is in danger with just over 4000 surviving in the wild. Poaching remains the major threat and in recent years has escalated due to demand for horn which is used in Asian medicine and also as a status symbol.
“The situation is devastating. Taronga actively supports conservation efforts for wild rhinos in Africa, Indonesia and India, including providing funds and support for habitat protection and reforestation, anti-poaching and rhino protection units and reduction of human-rhino conflict. We’re also a founding member of the International Rhino Foundation.”
Visitors to the Zoo can help support the Zoo’s conservation efforts simply by visiting. Winter is a great time to visit all the Zoo’s new arrivals, including Dafari, three Lion cubs born in February and four Asian Elephants newly arrived from our sister Zoo, Taronga in Sydney.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW. The zoo opens from 9am - 4pm. For more information contact 6881 1400 or visit www.taronga.org.au.