Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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White Rhino at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

In 1980, Taronga Western Plains Zoo saw the arrival of its first White Rhinoceroses, one male and four females, from Longleat, Woburn and Whipesnade in the UK.

They were the start of the White Rhino breeding program in Dubbo. Not long after in 1981 the Zoo welcomed the birth of our first White Rhino calf making Taronga Western Plains Zoo the first zoo to breed this species within the Australasian region. Following this success the Zoo bred six calves between 1981 - 1990. 

In 2003, Taronga Western Plains Zoo in partnership with Monarto Zoo in South Australia brought three males and four females from Kruger National Park, South Africa. Two males and three females were destined for Taronga Western Plains Zoo and it did not take long for our first calf to be born with another nine calves born into the breeding program to date. This includes our most recent arrival this year, Macheo!

We put down this success to how we manage the herd.  White Rhino are the social animals and are found in small groups in the wild with the males having a small home range within several female home ranges and we aim to keep our group similarly to how they would be found in the wild. In addition to this our keepers and veterinarians have years of collective experience working with this species and we’re looking forward to more breeding success in the future.

Pascale Benoit, White Rhino keeper.