The Aspinall Foundation, a conservation charity that stives to release as many animals born in their parks back into the wild, has had yet another successful birth at one of their parks: a baby black rhino. Born to first-time mom, Nyasa, the baby is now the 33rd birth for the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, and the keepers couldn’t be happier.
“This is mum Nyasa’s first birth – both mum and calf are doing really well and we’re all delighted,” said Paul Beer, head rhino keeper at the park.
Black rhinos are considered critically endangered. Their teeter on the edge of extinction has been brought on by many factors, but poachers play a very big part. Thankfully, at the Port Lympne Park, the largest herd of black rhinos in the world (outside of Africa) have a safe place to call home. Keepers at this park also have a reputation for being experts in breeding the endangered rhinos and made headlines recently when they released three of their rhinos back into the wild in Africa.
“Our impressive breeding record with these animals is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our keeping staff,” said Adrian Harland, Animal Director. “This is what the Aspinall Foundation is all about – successful breeding programs with endangered animals so that we can return them to the wild wherever possible.”
At the release, HRH Prince William made a private visit. Afterwards, he had an exclusive interview with BBC. He spoke out against the poachers that have threatened the lives of these majestic creatures, calling them, “ignorant, selfish and wrong.”
Thankfully, all of the rhinos were released into well-guarded areas. This should help to reduce the risk of being killed by poachers, but it is always a possibility. Thankfully, the new calf will have quite some time before she has to worry about poachers or a threatened habitat. So for now, she is enjoying a fairly private life with her mom and continues to do well.
“The little calf is strong and suckling well. We will keep her indoors for the first week or so to monitor her progress, but she should be able to explore her paddocks soon. It will be a while until she and mum can be seen by visitors as a peaceful environment is very important at this early stage of development.”