Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Southern Black Rhinoceros calf, Mesi, along with her mother Kufara, made her media debut on exhibit today!
As the first offspring for Kufara, Mesi’s birth on 11 April marked the third generation of Southern Black Rhino to be born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. The name Mesi means ‘smoke’ in the South African Sotho language.
“Mesi is four-and-a-half months old now and is thriving, weighing close to an estimated 100 kilograms,” Keeper Nerida Taylor said.
“She has recently started eating solid food, like hay and small amounts of browse (leafy tree branches), alongside her mother, Kufara.
“Mesi is becoming increasingly confident on exhibit, and is developing quite a distinct, quirky personality. Each day we see new developments in her behaviours, and she’s very curious about her surroundings.
“Kufara is continuing to show a very strong maternal instinct, and keeps a watchful eye over her calf, which is great to see,” Nerida said.
The spring months will be a great time to see Mesi and her mother, Kufara, on exhibit at the Zoo. The best time of the day to see them is in the morning.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is the only zoo in Australia to have successfully bred three species of rhino – the Black Rhino and White Rhino from Africa, and the Greater One-horned Rhino from Asia.
Southern Black Rhinos are critically endangered with only an estimated 4000 in the wild, predominantly due to poaching. Taronga is a founding member of the International Rhino Foundation, and actively supports conservation efforts for wild rhinos in Africa, Indonesia and India in areas including habitat protection, anti-poaching and reduction of human-rhino conflict.