The new resident of the Taronga Western Plains Zoo of Australia (a non-profit organization that supports wildlife conservation) is a newborn black rhinoceros that has not yet been named. His parents are Bakhita and Kwanzaa. The little rhino was born on Halloween night, October 31, and is the second of this type born in 2017. The former was a female who was born in April called Mesi (and daughter of Kufara).
Unfortunately, the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is in critical danger of extinction, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The funny thing is that it was once the most numerous species of rhinoceros in the world (with figures of 850,000 copies) but today, estimates indicate that the figure is less than 5,500 animals. In areas like Mozambique, the black rhino has completely disappeared.
The main reason for this worrying decrease is the loss of habitat due to agricultural exploitation and the highly aggressive poaching of the horns of these animals, whose illegal sale can reach the surprising figure of more than 50,000 Euros per kilogram on the black market.
In 1995 the number of rhinos with hooked or black lips reached its lowest level in 1995, when only 2,410 specimens survived.
To help the conservation of the black rhinoceros, zoos around the world began to develop breeding programs, hence the number has risen timidly, but there is still a long way to go.
The Taronga Western Plains Zoo, in particular, acquired six black rhinos for its breeding program in 1994 and, since then, 14 black rhinos have been born. Bakhita, the baby’s mother, was also born in the Australian zoo in 2002. Taking into account both rhinos born in 2017, the zoo already houses three different generations of rhinoceroses.
According to the zoo, the new ‘baby’ is adjusting well. He has met his human breeders in a yard where the little one can pass but not the mother (it is a small opening in the enclosure) and where he can walk freely.
The breeding, which is very active and curious about its environment, will not eat solid food until it is three months old and will not be shown to the public until 2018 to favor the bond between breeding and mother.