The newest addition to the rhino family at Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens is Stella, who arrived on 7th of September.
Stella is the first female calf for parents Monty and Ruby and the third to be born at the Park in its forty-nine-year history.
Female rhinos only reproduce every two-and-a-half to five years, so the window of opportunity has been limited. Rhino pregnancy lasts between sixteen to eighteen months, resulting in a single calf who will stand within an hour of birth.
Stella will remain under the watchful eye of her mother, Ruby, for at least two years, benefiting from her protection. Females guard their offspring aggressively and are notoriously intimidating if challenged.
Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park, Jamie Craig, said: “We have had tremendous success with our current rhino herd. Stella is the sixth youngster from Nancy and Ruby and our bull, Monty, has proved to be an excellent dad. He is the perfect combination of a dominant bull and caring patriarch. It is particularly satisfying that Ruby has produced a female calf – these are vital for the development of the breeding programme and Stella will eventually move to another collection to hopefully become a successful mother herself”.
White rhinos were once the rarest subspecies of any rhino and were on the verge of extinction in the early 1900s, when it was believed only twenty to fifty animals remained in Africa. Thanks to excellent and sustained protection, they are now the most common of the five rhino subspecies, although poaching in the last five years has once again escalated, driven by demand for rhino horn from the traditional medicine market of China and the Far East.
Visitors can see the new calf daily from 10am in the solar-powered Rhino House or the large Rhino paddock overlooking the Manor House. For more information on visiting go to www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk