Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Black Rhino calf born April 2017

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of a female Southern Black Rhino calf, born Tuesday 11 April 2017.

The yet to be named calf is the first offspring for mother Kufara and heralds the third generation of Black Rhino to be born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

“This is the fourth calf born in the past 12 years to the Zoo’s internationally renowned breeding program for this critically endangered species,” said Keeper, Linda Matthews.

The calf weighed in at approximately 25 – 30kg at birth and is quite active, following closely behind mother Kufara. The calf has really captured the hearts of zoo keepers and has been going from strength to strength in the first two weeks of its life.

“All five Rhino species remaining in the wild are under enormous pressure to survive. Every birth is critical and hopefully this calf further highlights the need to protect these remarkable species,” said Linda.

“Both mother and calf are doing well. Kufara is very cautious and protective of her calf which is a natural behaviour for a first time mother.”

“We are really happy with the maternal behaviours Kufara is displaying, she is very attentive and ensuring her calf suckles frequently which is all very positive,” said Linda.

Kufara and her calf will remain behind-the-scenes for the coming weeks where they can continue to strengthen their bond, before going on public display in late June.

“Currently there are about 4,200 Black Rhinos surviving in the wild. Poaching remains the major threat to their survival and in recent years has escalated due to the rising demand for their horn, which is used in Asian medicine and is a symbol of status,” said Linda.

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. Taronga is also a founding member of the International Rhino Foundation.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is home to three species of rhino – Black Rhino and White Rhino from Africa and the Greater One-horned Rhino from Asia, with successful breeding and conservation programs for all three species.

To find out more about the new arrival and watch a video click here 

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