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domingo, 5 de agosto de 2018

Critically Endangered Black Rhino Gives Birth To Calf At Chester Zoo

Malindi the rare black rhino delivered a healthy baby rhino after a 15-month long pregnancy. There are only about 650 black rhinos left in the wild as their numbers have been decimated by poachers who are after their horn.

The birth was unusual because rhinos usually give birth in the night, however, on this occasion Malindi gave visitors to the animal park a front row seat to one of the rarest occurrences in nature.

The male rhino calf was delivered in about half an hour. Both mum and calf are fit and healthy.
Within about 15 minutes after being born the wee rhino was up and walking around the enclosure and feeding on milk from his 12-year-old mother. Tim Rowlands, who is Chester Zoo's curator of mammals, said: "Visitors to the zoo were treated to something incredibly special when Eastern black rhino, Malindi, went in to labour in front of them. "With just 650 Eastern black rhino left in the wild, seeing the birth of a new calf and it's very first steps is a very rare and special event indeed.

"The new born was delivered onto soft wood mulch and within next to no time it was up on its feet and running around - it couldn't have gone any smoother.

"Although it's still very early days, the little one is showing great signs by feeding regularly and mum and calf appear to have bonded very quickly.

"We just hope this new calf helps us to raise some much needed attention to this truly magnificent species, and inspires urgent action to protect their future on this planet. We cannot and must not allow this subspecies to become extinct - a fate which has, tragically, already become of some of its cousin." It is feared that only 650 wild black rhinos are out there now, which is a result of poaching for their much coveted horn. Rhino horns change hands for more money than drugs or gold because of their value to the Asian medicine market. There is absolutely no evidence that rhino horn has any positive health benefits, so it's just a senseless waste of life.

The zoo's Collections Director, Mike Jordan, said: "This new arrival is a real boost to a critically endangered species. It increases the number of Eastern black rhino at Chester to 11 and is another vitally important success story in a Europe-wide breeding programme for these highly threatened animals.

"A thriving, healthy population of this high profile species in good zoos is vitally important to the future of this species and a key component of our mission to prevent their extinction. "

Malindi has previously given birth to one other calf, back in 2013. The zoo has now seen the birth of 11 black rhino calves in 20 years.