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Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor today welcomed the naming of Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Black Rhino calf, which has been stealing the hearts of visitors over the past few weeks.

“Thefemale calf has been aptly named Kufara meaning happiness in the African language Shona, which is native to Zimbabwe, where her grandmother originated from,” Mr Sartor said.

“”Kufara” was yesterday voted the most popular name from a selection of six in a naming competition.

“The other options were:

  • Mashanje - Full of fun/playfulness (Shona)
  • Omhle - Beautiful (Ndebele)
  • Siyanda - We (the family) are growing (Ndebele)
  • Takia - Wish for the best (Swahili)
  • Chidiwa - Adorable (Shona)

“After meeting Kufara and her mother Bakhita on Wednesday whilst at the Zoo in Dubbo, it is easy to see how she is inspiring new visitors.”

On Wednesday Mr Sartor announced $1 million in new funding for Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

“The additional $1 million will be used for projects including upgrades to fences at the Black and White Rhinoceros exhibits, which will benefit Kufara and Bakhita,” Mr Sartor said.

“It will also be used to upgrade the Maned Wolves platform and for maintenance work on the Hippopotamus and Savannah Lakes exhibits.”

Born on Wednesday 17 February 2010, Kufara is now 10 weeks old and is growing fast under the watchful eye of first time mother Bakhita.

Zoo Keeper, Katie Boyer said Kufara is developing well and now weighsapproximately 60kgs.

“Kufara is getting more curious about her surroundings but still doesn’t venture far from her mum’s side,” Ms Boyer said.

“She has recently enjoyed her first few pieces of banana and is oftenseen mimicking her mother’s behaviours such as trying to eat branches and rolling in the mud.”

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is recognised as a world-class open range zoo, which has an international reputation in Black Rhinoceros breeding,research and conservation.

The Black Rhinoceros are critically endangered with only around 4230 remaining in the wild.

Poaching continues to remain a huge threat for the survival of this species.

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