The wait is over – Monarto Safari Park is celebrating the safe arrival of an incredibly cute newborn rhino calf!
Mum Umqali gave birth to the youngster on Wednesday at 7:10pm within one of the Boma.
The birth was captured on CCTV cameras.
The young female calf spent the night with mum before keepers got to see her at first light and has already captured their hearts.
Senior Ungulate Keeper Mark Mills said the team had been anticipating the birth for the last few weeks: “Hormonal signs showed us that Umqali was close to giving birth and on Wednesday afternoon she was noticeably vocal towards the other female rhinos who rightly gave her the space she needed.”
“We are so happy that she has arrived safely and so far all the signs are very positive.
She is standing well, feeding and both mother and calf appear calm and relaxed.
“The young rhino is absolutely gorgeous and, like all little rhinos, looks like she has a lot of growing to do to catch up with her large ears and feet!” finished Mark.
The newborn calf is the seventh born to Umqali. The pair are currently in the Boma area but eagle-eyed visitors might catch a glimpse of the calf from the fencing area.
Monarto Safari Park Director Peter Clark said the newborn calf was a significant arrival for a species which is threatened with extinction, adding that the calf would play an important role in Zoos SA’s efforts to boost its insurance population.
“A little Southern White Rhinoceros is a big reason for celebration. Nearly ten thousand animals have been lost to poaching in the wild in just the last 10 years with numbers surviving now thought to be less than 15,000,” said Peter.
“Zoos SA is working with The Australian Rhino Project and other partners to bring a rhino sanctuary to life at Monarto Safari Park. The project will see more Southern White Rhinos relocated from Africa to Monarto Safari Park in 2022.
“This calf will play her part in helping to ensure the survival of White rhinos by boosting the numbers of animals held safely in Australia and New Zealand. We hope Monarto will eventually become home for up to 40 rhino, most of which will live in our new and very large Wild Africa safari experience area. This sanctuary will create a viable rhino insurance population outside of Africa should the species become extinct.
“We hope South Australians will visit Monarto Safari Park to welcome our newest addition and in doing so support Zoos SA with this critical project and other vital conservation programs,” finished Peter.
Monarto Safari Park is home to six Southern White Rhinos – two males, three females and the newest addition – all of whom are proudly supported by our partners Beach Energy.
Monarto Safari Park reopened to the public on 29 June with a restriction on the number of visitors due to COVID-19. All members and visitors are requested to book their tickets online.