Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s first Greater One-horned Rhino calf, Rajah celebrates his first birthday today.
Rajah now weighs in excess of 600kgs and is continuing to grow quickly. According to zoo keepers he enjoys eating hay as well as grazing on grass in his paddock. Rajah is also still suckling from his mother, Amala but will start to wean at around 18 months old.
“Rajah has a strong personality. He is quite precocious around keepers, is very confident and can be quite demanding, but if he feels threatened he quickly seeks out Amala for reassurance,” said Keeper Ian Anderson.
“For a first time mother we couldn’t be happier with Amala’s maternal behaviour, she has proven to be a very confident and attentive mother from the moment Rajah was born.”
“Rajah’s birth was such a historic moment for the zoo’s rhino conservation programs. He is the first Greater One-horned Rhino to be born in Australia, and it has been amazing to watch him grow and develop over the past year,” said Ian.
Training and conditioning sessions have taken place with Rajah on a daily basis in preparation for when he is separated from his mother in the future. This helps to not only build a bond with his keepers but allows for regular health checks and veterinary treatment if required.
“A great time to see Rajah and Amala is at the daily keeper talk at 2:15pm,” said Ian. “These rhinos are unique animals and visitors always go away from the talk having learnt something new about them.”
At this stage Rajah will stay at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Rajah is a genetically valuable male who will one day be required to join the international breeding program for his species.
“This may mean he will be transferred to another Zoo overseas down the track, but for now he will continue to be with his mother here in Dubbo,” said Ian