Zoo celebrates arrival of rare black rhino calf

A black rhino calf born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo
A black rhino calf born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

A critically endangered black rhino calf has been born at a zoo in Australia

The female calf, which has not yet been named, was born to mother Bakhita at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, New South Wales on February 24.

Zoo director Steve Hinks said: “This is the fourth calf for experienced mother Bakhita, who is the zoo’s most successful black rhino breeding female and also the first female black rhino born here.

“This calf is especially important as it carries the legacy of our black rhino breeding bull, Kwanzaa, who sadly passed away in 2020.

“Kwanzaa played a prominent role in the black rhino conservation breeding programme here in Dubbo, siring four calves, and it is such a great feeling to see his final calf arrive safely.”

Both Bakhita and her calf are doing well, the zoo said, and are being left to bond in a special behind-the-scenes enclosure monitored by staff via CCTV.

They will be moved to the main black rhino enclosure in around two months.

Black rhinos are listed as critically endangered, with fewer than 6,000 remaining in the wild.

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