Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Black Rhinoceros and calf

With World Rhino Day approaching, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the ongoing success of the Black Rhino breeding program at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and its contribution to the conservation of this marvellous species.

Black Rhinos were first brought to the Zoo in 1993 with the arrival of seven females from Zimbabwe, a year later with the introduction of three males , the breeding program was established.. Since the birth of a male calf named Kusamona in May 1996 a further nine males and two females have been born into the program, establishing Taronga Western Plains Zoo as a renowned breeding facility for the species, the only one in Australia.

In 2010, the Zoo welcomed its first calf born to a zoo-born female.  Kufara is the first second generation calf born into the breeding program and a great indicator that the breeding program is continuing to enjoy success.

The main threat to this iconic species is poaching, with numbers decreasing by over 60 000 since 1970.  With less than 5000 individuals left in the wild the Black Rhinoceros faces an uncertain future and the need to sustain a population in human care is vital. This is why Taronga Western Plains Zoo continues to raise awareness of this amazing species, and will be spreading the word a little louder on World Rhino Day, 22 September 2012.

Black Rhino Keeper, Karen