Zoo Watch: Baby rhino makes festive debut at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

PUBLISHED: 09:59 21 December 2019

A female baby rhino, who has yet to be named, was born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

A female baby rhino, who has yet to be named, was born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

TONY MARGIOCCHI

Zookeepers are celebrating the birth of a female greater one-horned rhino at Whipsnade Zoo.

A female baby rhino, who has yet to be named, was born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiA female baby rhino, who has yet to be named, was born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

The baby rhino - who has not yet been named - was born to mum Behan and dad Hugo at 5am on Sunday, December 8.

At 70kg, the youngster weighed more than 20times the average 3kg human at birth and was born with furry ears and soft pink folds of skin, which will toughen to form the characteristic 'armour-plate' the rhinos are known for.

A female baby rhino, who has yet to be named, was born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiA female baby rhino, who has yet to be named, was born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

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Mark Holden, ZSL team leader, said: "We knew Behan was expecting so ZSL's zookeepers have been keeping a close eye on her throughout the 16-month-long pregnancy - we checked on her the night before and found her calm and relaxed in her indoor dens.

A female baby rhino, who has yet to be named, was born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiA female baby rhino, who has yet to be named, was born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

"Coming in early the following day they were delighted to find a healthy female calf standing next to her mother, having been born in the early hours."

The calf's name is being chosen by one of ZSL's supporters and will be revealed in the new year on ZSL's social channels.

Born as part of the European Breeding Programme (EEP) for the species, the calf is Behan's fifth calf and the 15th greater one-horned rhino to be born at Whipsnade, which was one of the first zoos in the world to breed the species in 1957.

Visit ZSL Whipsnade Zoo to meet the rhino herd this Christmas - to book tickets or find out more head to www.zsl.org


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