Keepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are celebrating the birth of a baby rhino this week, with the bundle of joy arriving just in time for Christmas!
Born to parents Behan and Hugo on December 8th, the female greater one-horned rhino weighed 70kg on arrival – more than twenty times the average human baby! The new calf is yet to be named and was born with furry ears and soft pink folds of skin, which will toughen to form the characteristic ‘armour-plate’ rhinos are known for.
ZSL team leader Mark Holden, explains: “We knew Behan was expecting so ZSL’s zookeepers have been keeping a close eye on her throughout the 16-month-long pregnancy – we checked on her the night before and found her calm and relaxed in her indoor dens.
“Coming in early the following day they were delighted to find a healthy female calf standing next to her mother, having been born in the early hours.
“Since then, she has been getting more adventurous every day: under her mum’s watchful gaze she has even started to tentatively venture outside, so lucky visitors will be able to spot her stretching her legs over the Christmas holidays.
Born as part of the European Breeding Programme for the species, the new calf the 15th greater one-horned rhino to be born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, which was one of the first zoos in the world to breed the species in 1957.