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SOS Rhino : In the News : Rhino makes debut s

Rhino makes debut

  Michelle Pountney
Herald Sun
Victoria, Australia

HE hasn't got a name, but this baby has 145kg of attitude.

Werribee Open Range Zoo's newest arrival, a seven-week-old southern white rhinoceros, made his debut yesterday.

It was his first look at the wide open savanna that is now his home.

And he took no time to get to know the other members of the rhinoceros herd and the other animals on his turf.

Keeper Brooke Squires said the baby would test all his skills, charge, bounce around and see what he could take on.

"He will learn how to be a little rhino within this herd and learn his place, but now he thinks he's invincible," Ms Squires said.

When he took his first steps in to his big new world yesterday, the young male made sure they were memorable.

He ran, jumped in circles, charged at other animals, rubbed noses with the females in the nine-strong rhino herd and enjoyed his freedom.

Mum Letaba was forced to chase after her new son to keep an eye on his antics.

She also kept an eye on her other son Ganini, now 2, to ensure there was no sibling jealousy.

Ms Squires said the brothers would get on.

"When the new one gets to 12 months, the young bulls will get together and test their abilities by pushing and shoving, which is really important ground work for when they are territorial adults," she said.

The new baby, born on November 25, weighs 145kg and is putting on up to 4kg a day.

He is the second to be born since the zoo joined an international breeding program in 1981. Only 10 per cent of captive rhinos breed successfully.

Ms Squires said the natural herd at Werribee and the open range made a big difference.

Herald Sun readers can name the baby rhino. The zoo has received more than 200 suggestions and will decide a name soon.

Send suggestions to:

Name the Baby Rhino,

PO Box 460,

Werribee 3030

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