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 last year.
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 and will remain behind-the-scenes for the next couple of months before making the move 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 very successful in breeding black rhinos with four calves born in the last six years.
Black rhinos are critically endangered with estimates that there are less than 6000 remaining in the wild.