Dublin Zoo Welcomes their Biggest Bundle of Joy

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Dublin Zoo Welcomes their Biggest Bundle of Joy

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Dublin Zoo is celebrating one of the most exciting arrivals of 2013 so far, a male southern white rhinoceros calf. The calf was born to mother Ashanti on Friday 26th April and weighs approximately 50kgs.

The youngster joins the rest of the herd – Sam, Reni, Chaka, Zanti, Nyalla, and of course his mother Ashanti - in their African Savanna habitat.

The newborn 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 a demand for horn.

This species got their name ‘white’ rhinoceros from a mispronunciation of the Afrikaans word for ’wide’ and refers to their wide, flat mouth which has adapted for grazing. Southern white rhinoceros have poor eyesight but have acute senses of hearing and smell.

Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the new arrival. This male is a significant birth because he will play an important role for future zoo breeding programmes.”

Helen added, “Ashanti gave birth to her second calf Zuberi in December 2010 and is much more relaxed and experienced this time around. The mother and son are bonding and will remain close for the first year of his life. He is enjoying the recent burst of sunshine and spends most of his time feeding, playing and resting

The rhino calf has been named Jabari, meaning brave and strong in Swahili. After recieving over 700 entries, the winning name was picked by Anna Lynch from St. Josephs National School, Hacketstown, Co. Carlow.

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