Monday 21 October 2019

Horns of a dilemma: what to name zoo's new rhino

Grainne Cunningham

LIKE many mums expecting their third baby, Ashanti was really relaxed about the birth this time around.

Which is just as well, because her little bundle of joy weighed about 50kg when he was born.

Dublin Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a male southern white rhinoceros calf, to mum Ashanti and dad Chaka just one week ago today.

Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains, said that thanks to CCTV, Ashanti was able to give birth undisturbed by keepers, in an environment as close to the wild as possible.

The remote cameras allow animal minders to keep a close watch on birthing mothers.

Helen said Ashanti had a "very good delivery" – she was "a lot more relaxed this time around" and the little calf was up on his feet within half an hour.

09/05/13 Dublin Zoo's latest arrival, a male southern white rhinoceros calf pictured this morning at Dublin Zoo with his 13 year old mother, Ashanti. The male calf weighing 50 kg is Ashanti's third calf and is another significant success for Dublin Zoo as part of the European Endangered Species Programme established to assist the survival of the near threatened southern white rhinoceros. It is estimated that only 20,000 of these animals exist in the wild, the majority are found in South Africa, Zimbabwe. Namibia and Kenya. Numbers are declining rapidly due to poaching as a result of demand for horn...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
09/05/13 Dublin Zoo's latest arrival, a male southern white rhinoceros calf pictured this morning at Dublin Zoo with his 13 year old mother, Ashanti. The male calf weighing 50 kg is Ashanti's third calf and is another significant success for Dublin Zoo as part of the European Endangered Species Programme established to assist the survival of the near threatened southern white rhinoceros. It is estimated that only 20,000 of these animals exist in the wild, the majority are found in South Africa, Zimbabwe. Namibia and Kenya. Numbers are declining rapidly due to poaching as a result of demand for horn...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

He will spend the next six months suckling from his mother and chewing on grass.

And he won't really leave his mother's side for the first year of his life.

He will shortly be introduced to daddy Chaka, whose name means tribal warrior.

The newborn is part of the European Endangered Species Programme, established to assist the survival of the near threatened southern white rhinoceros.

Dublin Zoo has invited children to suggest a name for the newest arrival, based on his African origin.

Tune into Breakfast with Hector on 2fm on Monday and Tueday from 7am to find out how to enter and for details on the prize for the winning name.

For further information on Dublin Zoo visit www.facebook.com/dublinzoo, www.dublinzoo.ie.

Irish Independent

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