ZSL Whipsnade Zoo triples its charges
Tuesday 18 October 2005
On Thursday 6th October a male white rhino calf was born, the third since June!
This is a huge success story for Whipsnade as the white rhino is an endangered species and part of an international breeding programme set up to conserve these animals.
All boys, the calves were sired by the same father, Nsiswa, the bull of the herd. Mothers Clara, Mkumi and Nowana will continue to nurse the youngsters for up to a year. After a gestation period of 16 months, rhinos generally give birth to a single calf.
The older boys are already full of confidence and can often be seen playing together, and like all lads, they especially enjoy it after a good downpour when there is plenty of mud to be found in their huge paddock. It shouldn’t be too long before their half brother joins them in the fun!
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is justly proud of its contribution to the conservation of the southern white rhino with an outstanding breeding record of over 50 white rhinos since 1970. But three in one year is truly the icing on the cake!
This is especially signficant given that in the 1900’s there were less than 100 white rhinos in the wild in South Africa, now, with the aid the a worldwide conservation project there are more than 11,300. Whipsnade holds the best white rhino breeding record in Europe and worldwide is only surpassed by San Diego Zoo.
The ZSL Whipsnade Zoo white rhino herd now consists of ten animals, four males and seven females. The eldest calf is called Kashka and since his birth is June, has grown by about a third. The younger two calves are yet to be named.