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SOS Rhino : In the News : Zoo welcomes southern white rhino

Zoo welcomes southern white rhino

  Thursday, 5 May 2005
The Murray Valley Standard

HISTORY has been made at Monarto Zoological Park with the birth of a male southern white rhinoceros in the early hours of Thursday morning.

After a gestation period of nearly 16 months, the southern white rhino 'Uhura' successfully gave birth to a healthy male weighing approximately 35 to 40 kilograms.

The yet to be named male is the first southern white rhino born in South Australian history.

Satara, the father of the newborn, was a wild caught from Kruger National Park, arriving at Monarto under the banner of 'Operation White Rhino' in 2002.

The mother, Uhura, was born in the Singapore Zoo on May 26, 1996 and came to Monarto on December 9, 2000.

Both rhinos have adapted well to Monarto's open range concept and have now successfully bred in the 'Caddick Rhino Boma'.

Formerly widespread across southern Africa, the southern white rhinoceros was all but wiped out in the nineteenth century, with less than 100 individuals surviving.

Breeding programs for the southern white rhinoceros will greatly strengthen the survival of this species, which is highly dependent on international conservation measures.

Monarto Zoological Park director Chris Hannocks said he was "absolutely delighted" by the progress made in breeding such a conservation dependent animal.

"We look forward to successfully raising this rhino to carry on successful breeding in the Australasian breeding program," he said.

Monarto zoo now has five rhino and hopes to successfully breed more in the future.

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