April 5, 2000
SYDNEY - A baby black rhinoceros is the latest addition to the
Western Plains Zoo.
The calf is the third to be born at the zoo's black rhinoceros
breeding centre since it was introduced in 1992, and brings the
zoo's black rhino numbers to 13.
"Only an estimated 2,600 black rhinoceros remain in the wild,"
New South Wales Environment Minister Bob Debus said. "The survival
of the species depends on the success of these zoo-based breeding
programs which are establishing a gene pool outside Africa,"
he said in a statement.
Rhinos are killed for their horn which is sold to make dagger handles
and in powdered form for traditional medicines in Asia.
Zoo keepers and veterinarians are keeping a close watch on the
calf, which will make its debut within six weeks.