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Baby Rhino for Australia Zoo

Baby White Rhino
Australia Zoo's new addition to the family
(5) marks: 1

AUSTRALIA Zoo all abuzz at the birth of a baby White Rhino.

The not so bouncing baby girl (still a little unsteady on her feet) is still to be named and was born at 3:15AM Yesterday.

Zoo spokesperson Manu Ludden said the female calf was doing well and had already started feeding from her mother, Caballe.

"Our little rhino calf was on the move immediately after being born and she has already had at least three good long feeds," Ms Ludden said.

"Mum is also doing well. She is super relaxed and she seems quite content."

This is Caballe's fourth calf and is the first rhino born at Australia Zoo which has all the staff buzzing.

The calf won’t be on display until September to give her time to grow and bond with her mum.

Caballe is a southern white rhinoceros, and was brought from Hamilton Zoo in Auckland, New Zealand, last year.

One of Africa's "big five" animals, white rhino numbers in the wild are estimated at a little over 20,000, and only another 780 in captivity.

"White rhinos are doing the best of all the rhino species, numbering more than all the other species put together," Ms Ludden said.

"This hasn't always been the case though, with numbers dropping to less than 100 individuals at the turn of the century, so they are a great success story.

"Poaching remains the rhinos' biggest threat but through intense anti-poaching strategies, numbers have climbed. However they are still highly at risk."

The white rhino is close to being listed as threatened but when compared to species such as Queensland's northern hairy nosed wombat of which only about 140 survive, they appear to be doing well.

The far more endangered wombats are celebrating a birth of their own, this one in the wild.

A population set up by Environment Department scientists near St George in southern Queensland having just recorded its first birth.

Australia Zoo will hold an auction website eBay to name the baby. The public are invited to bid for names and all money will go to conservation projects in Africa.

Australia Zoo is located on the Sunshine Coast in southern Queensland.

 

Michael Palmer

Photo: Supplied

Date: 13/04/2011

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