Two black rhino babies born in Dvůr Králové Zoo within 17 hours
A unique achievement has been accomplished in Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic. On Jan. 25, the 40th black rhino baby was born in the zoo. But keepers had no time to take a rest – a black rhino baby no. 41 was born just 17 hours later.
“Although Dvůr Králové Zoo is among the most successful rhino breeders in the world, two babies within 17 hours we have not experienced yet and I guess we will hardly ever go through such a demanding situation again,“ said Jiří Hrubý, a rhino curator of the zoo, said in a press release.
“However, the most important thing is that all babies and mothers are OK,” he added.
Keepers were worried especially regarding a female Jessi that has given birth to seven babies already. But her last calf in 2012 was stillborn and she had to cope with health problems. Fortunately, her eighth calf, a boy, was born Jan. 26 with no problems at all. As Jessi reached the age of 30 just in December, she became the oldest of the females that have ever given a birth in Dvůr Králové Zoo.
A day earlier, a female Maisha gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. It is her second calf.
Dvůr Králové Zoo has been involved in eastern black rhino breeding program in Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania. One of Jessi’s previous babies, a male named Jamie, was together with two other rhinos from Dvůr Králové Zoo transported to Tanzania in 2009 and he has sired two baby girls in Africa since the translocation.
The zoo plans to transfer one more rhino female to Tanzania this autumn to enhance the Mkomazi population. It is estimated just about 700 eastern black rhinos remain in the wild.
In total, 53 rhino babies have been born in Dvůr Králové Zoo so far. Apart from 41 eastern black rhinos, three great one-horned rhinos, three southern white rhinos, five northern white rhinos and one crossbred between southern and northern white rhino; the zoo is the only animal park where northern white rhinos have reproduced and with its partners it currently leads efforts to save this most endangered mammal in the world.
Information provided by Dvůr Králové Zoo