Sweet and rare offspring at the Werribee Open Range Zoo in the Australian state of Victoria: A southern white rhino was born there for the first time in ten years. Mama Kipenzi gave birth to the 60-kilogram girl on Tuesday, ABC reported on Thursday, citing the zoo.
However, since the mother did not form a close bond with her daughter in the first few hours, the little rhino was initially taken into the care of veterinarians, it said. "The first few days of a calf's life are considered to be the most risky," it said.
The little one was hand fed and looked after around the clock. She has now been reunited with her mother. "It went well, but we will keep them under strict veterinary care for the time being," said zoo director Mark Pilgrim.
The southern white rhino is classified as "Near Threatened" by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The environmental organization WWF wrote about the subspecies last year: "In the second half of the 19th century there were only fewer than 100 animals of the southern white rhinos. Thanks to intensive protective measures, a population of more than 15,000 animals has been able to develop to date."
According to the WWF, there are only two females of their cousins, the northern white rhinos, left worldwide. The animals are threatened primarily by poaching and the illegal trade in their horns. Especially in Asia, these are used in traditional medicine.
Report ABC WWF on white rhinos