Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo is celebrating the birth of a critically endangered black rhino calf, who is the last baby for her dad who died 2020.
Keepers arrived at work last Wednesday to find the female calf standing beside her mother Bakhita in the zoo’s behind-the-scenes calving yard.
“This is the fourth calf for experienced mother Bakhita, who is the zoo’s most successful black rhino breeding female and also the first female black rhino born here,” Taronga Western Plains Zoo director, Steve Hinks said on Monday.
Keepers are monitoring Bakhita and her calf via CCTV cameras to allow them plenty of space to bond.
“This calf is especially important as it carries the legacy of our black rhino breeding bull, Kwanzaa, who sadly passed away in 2020,” Mr Hinks said.
Kwanzaa played a prominent role in the black rhino conservation breeding program, siring four calves.
“It’s such a great feeling to see his final calf arrive safely,” Mr Hinks said.
Both mum and calf are doing well. They will remain behind-the-scenes for the next couple of months before moving to the black rhino paddock.
The public will be able to watch the baby’s progress via Taronga TV and social media.
The zoo in central western NSW, has been successful in breeding black rhinos with four calves born in the past six years.
Black rhinos are critically endangered. Official estimates are that less than 6000 remain in the wild.