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SOS Rhino : In the News : Berlin Zoo Separates Baby Rhino from Clumsy Mother

Berlin Zoo Separates Baby Rhino from Clumsy Mother

  GERMANY: August 18, 2004

BERLIN - Vets at a Berlin zoo have been forced to separate a baby rhino from his mother for fear she may accidentally trample him to death, zoo officials said.

The mother rhino, Betty, already trod on month-old Patna a day after he was born, causing a fracture to his leg that became infected and still hasn't healed nearly five weeks later.

"Patna is doing well considering the circumstances," said Gunter Strauss, veterinary surgeon at Berlin's Tierpark zoo. "But after the necessary six week separation, his mother certainly won't recognize him and would reject him."

Normally, animals are kept with their mother so they can feed on her milk.

Now baby Patna, who is hobbling around a pen with his front left leg in a cast, will be brought up on a diet of formula milk by zookeeper Barbara Schwesig.

Zoo staff said they were pleased with the 80 kg (176 lb) baby rhino's progress and hoped the fracture would heal so he could share a pen with six-month-old bull rhino, Jacob.


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