West Midland Safari Park celebrated the birth of a baby southern white rhino last week, the third for the park in three years.
After a lengthy pregnancy of 16 months, second-time mum Ailsa gave birth to the youngster on 25th September, with the male calf weighing in at an impressive 67kg (10 and a half stone)!
In the wild, southern white rhinos face major threats from habitat loss and poaching with just 20,000 estimated to be left in South Africa. The new arrival is great news for the park’s white rhino breeding programme, and follows the birth of three-year-old male, Ekozu, and half-sister Fahari who was born last year.
Angela Potter, Head of Wildlife, said: “We are so delighted to welcome our new calf, who popped into the world at 2.17am during the early hours of Tuesday morning. He is a strong boy and was up and walking within 20 minutes of birth. Ailsa is a very loving and protective mother and we are extremely proud of her.”
She continued: “Each new rhino birth is a success story for the European Endangered Species Programme and for the species as a whole. Although he just missed World Rhino Day, we hope his birth will raise some much needed attention to the plight of all the rhino species in the wild.”
The yet to be named newborn will be joining a ‘crash’ of eight southern white rhinos, comprising of five females and three males, who can all be seen on the park’s four mile safari drive-through.
Footage of the new rhino calf can be viewed here
For more information on visiting West Midland Safari Park go to www.wmsp.co.uk
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