It’s a special day for one of Taronga Western Plains Zoo residents - Kamari, our Southern White Rhino turns one today!
Kamari’s name means ‘moonlight’ in Swahili and symbolises the calf’s early morning birth on 19 December 2015. She weighed roughly 60kg at birth and Keepers were ecstatic to see this little calf standing and soaking in the morning sunshine next to mum when they arrived at work. Mum, Mopani (31yr) is an experienced mother and has raised Kamari into a very confident and outgoing calf. Although Kamari is the youngest and smallest of our White Rhinos, she does have the biggest personality of all. She is boisterous and full of energy and is often spotted frolicking around the paddocks. She loves to interact with keepers and especially enjoys a belly scratch, it’s her favourite.
In her first 10 days Kamari had grown on average of 4.5kg a day and now at the age of one, Kamari is over 500kg!
Kamari has no idea how important she is to the future of White Rhinos. Taronga Western Plains Zoo was the first institution to breed White Rhinos in Australasia. We have had a total of 16 calves born at Taronga Western Plains. This breeding program has impacted significantly for the protection of the species and for Rhino conservation. Our aim is to establish a healthy, self-sustained insurance population in Australia that is genetically diverse, should there be a catastrophic event where Rhino populations are diminished, zoo populations could support reintroduction to the wild. We also support rhinoceros conservation projects in the wild, including the International Rhino Foundation, of which we are a founding member. Our herd currently consists of two bulls (Khulu and Umfana), two adult females (Mopani and Likwezi), a juvenile male (Winston) and Kamari, our female calf.
You can see our Rhino herd daily at the White Rhino exhibit.
By White Rhino Keeper Maz Boz