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Dublin: 9°C Monday 29 November 2021

Rhino from an under-threat species is born at Dublin Zoo

There were as little as 50 southern white rhinoceroses left in the wild in the early 1900s – now there are as many as 20,000.

DublinZoo_Rhino07 Source: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger

DUBLIN ZOO HAS welcomed another birth in its Savanna enclosure – this time to a southern white rhinoceros calf, which were once an endangered species.

The male calf, who is yet to be named, was born to mother Ashanti and father Chaka on Thursday 25 August, weighing approximately 60kgs.

The newborn is Ashanti’s fifth calf and joins the rest of the herd – Sam, Reni, Chaka, Zanta, Nyala and of course his mother Ashanti – at the African Savanna.

DublinZoo_Rhino04 Source: Patrick Bolger

Endangered species

Despite numbers as low as 50 left in the wild in the early 1900s, this subspecies of white rhino increased to become the most common of all the rhino species. However, the alarming increase in poaching since 2008 threatens the rhinoceros population in the wild once again.

Dublin Zoo financially supports the conservation organisation Lowveld Rhino Trust, which is based in Zimbabwe and helps protect rhinos from poachers.

It is estimated that 20,000 of these animals exist in the wild – the majority are found in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya. Poaching for rhino horn is the most significant threat to the wild population.

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DublinZoo_Rhino03 Source: Patrick Bolger

Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains, said “We are absolutely thrilled with the new arrival. Ashanti is an experienced mother and the birth was very relaxed.

The mother and calf are bonding and will remain very close for the first year of his life.

DublinZoo_Rhino05 (1) Source: Patrick Bolger

What do you think the new calf should be called? Suggestions based on his African origin can be submitted here.

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