Chester Zoo in Cheshire warmly welcomes a rare guest into its premises- An Eastern Black Rhino. This comes after incessant poaching habits have only left a negligible number of rhinos in the world. The entry of this female calf is a boon and a celebratory clink to global conservation efforts.
People reported a pivotal wildlife conservation miracle, whereby on November 12, an eastern black rhinoceros calf was born at the Chester Zoo in Cheshire, which is not only a critically endangered species but is also one of the world’s rarest mammals. The zoo states that it was a rare birth incident with a closely monitored 15-month pregnancy and an afternoon 2:45 p.m. delivery where rhino mom Zuri safely delivered the baby on soft sand. It is unusual for rhinos to be born in broad daylight, hence the mention of ‘unusual.’
According to People, rhino team manager Emma Evison said in a release, “We’d been eagerly awaiting this birth for 15 long months and, as it’s quite unusual for a rhino to give birth in daylight hours, we really didn’t expect it to happen right in front of us as we were going about our day,” adding, “To be able to witness the calf safely entering the world, in front of our very own eyes, was just the most incredible privilege.”
According to the zoo, since the time of birth, the baby has been keeping close to Zuri throughout, which the staff admits is an important part of the process of bonding. They continued in their release, “What’s most important now during these first few days is that mum Zuri and her new baby spend some time bonding and getting to know one another,” adding, “So far, the two have been inseparable and the little one is feeding regularly and already gaining in size and weight. She’s very inquisitive and full of energy, which is just brilliant to see.”
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the birth of the calf is “another positive step in safeguarding the species,” the creature faces a high possibility of becoming extinct in the wild. People reported that fewer than 600 rhinos remain across Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
The Chester Zoo reports via People that the instigating factor behind the widespread endangerment of the species is poaching for the illegal wildlife trade. A record 95% of the rhino population in Africa has been wiped out due to a need for ‘rhino horn,’ which is a coveted commodity in the traditional Asian medicine market.
However, according to Chester Zoo, new reports released this year show that rhino numbers in Africa have increased slightly for the first time in more than 10 years, giving us a little bit of hope for their future. Despite the significant growth, the zoo has expressed its concern over its longevity and states that there is much to be done.
It said in a statement, “Our efforts to protect this magnificent species extend far beyond the zoo’s boundaries and, while it’s incredibly positive news that conservation efforts across Africa have led to a small recovery in rhino numbers, giving them some much-needed breathing space, we know there’s still lots of work to be to done.”
Jordan added to this statement, “Zuri and her new arrival is testament to the unwavering dedication of conservationists here at Chester, and around the world, who are working to safeguard these incredible animals and ensure that they thrive long into the future.”
People reported an incident from December of 2022 where Kansas City announced the birth of an eastern black rhino calf through a statement issued by the Kansas City Zoo that stated, “There are only about 740 of this type of rhino left in the wild, so this birth is also important for the subspecies as a whole,” adding, “We are thrilled to introduce this new arrival to Kansas City!”