Dublin Zoo is delighted to announce the birth of a Southern white rhinoceros calf. The female calf, born on January 2nd to mother Nyala, is estimated to weigh approximately 50kg.
The calf joins her father, Chaka, and half-brother, Fionn, as the newest member of the seven-strong herd, also known as a crash, in Dublin Zoo’s African Savanna.
The yet-to-be-named youngster is Nyala’s second calf and the birth marks another significant success for Dublin Zoo as part of the European Endangered Species Programme, established to assist with the survival of the Southern white rhinoceros.
Over the next few weeks, lucky visitors can catch a glimpse of mother and calf through the window of the Rhino House or out on the Savanna, where the pair have already developed a loving bond. Nyala is very attentive to the new arrival, and her calf can often be seen right by her side as she builds confidence and explores her new surroundings.
Dublin Zoo currently takes part in a European breeding programme for southern white rhinos. It is estimated that 16,000 of these animals exist in the wild and the majority are found in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya. Poaching for rhino horn, incorrectly believed to have medicinal qualities, is the most significant threat to the wild population.
Dublin Zoo financially supports the conservation organisation Lowveld Rhino Trust in Zimbabwe, whose rangers help protect rhinos from poachers, treat wounded and orphaned rhinos, monitor rhino populations and are involved with community outreach programmes.
Helen Clarke-Bennett, team leader of the African Plains said: “Our team is thrilled to welcome the arrival of another Southern white rhinoceros calf to Dublin Zoo. These animals were on the verge of extinction in the 20th century, and there are only approximately 16,000 of them left in the world today.
Nyala is a very attentive mother, and it is wonderful to watch the pair develop their amazing bond as the days go on. The calf is cautious and stays quite close to her mother, however, we can already see glimpses of her outgoing personality and look forward to watching her integrate with the herd at Dublin Zoo.”