27 March 2007
Baby fever has hit Hamilton Zoo as white rhinoceros Caballe delivered a new female rhino into the family last night [26 March 2007] at approximately 9pm.
Caballe and breeding male Zambese, both of Hamilton Zoo, are the proud third-time parents. Their union is significant because both parents were wild-caught in Kruger National Park in South Africa and imported to Hamilton in 1999. Their three offspring are the only rhino calves conceived and born in New Zealand from wild-caught parents.
The new baby rhino has two older brothers, both currently resident at Hamilton Zoo, being Inkosi aged five and Mtoto aged three.
Hamilton Zoo director Stephen Standley says that the arrival of the new white rhino baby is exciting and a great example of animal breeding programmes in action.
"We are delighted with the birth of a beautiful female white rhino. The three offspring from Caballe and Zambesi ensure their genetic contribution to the next generation within the regional breeding programme.
"Due to the success of our white rhino breeding at Hamilton Zoo, the herd has expanded to complete capacity. To alleviate this and ensure that our resident rhino continue to enjoy a spacious and comfortable environment, three males from the herd will be transferred to Auckland next month."
The great benefit of a female calf is the possibility that she will be able to remain at Hamilton Zoo and hopefully breed here in the future with an unrelated male.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
NAME: Stephen Standley
DESIGNATION: Hamilton Zoo director
TEL (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6954
MOBILE: 021 912 113
FAX (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6960
NAME: Naomi Reynolds
DESIGNATION: Communication Advisor
TEL (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6726
MOBILE: 027 413 3448
FAX (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6761