WATCH: Baby white rhino born at West Midland Safari Park

A new baby rhino has arrived at West Midland Safari Park - landing in the world with a crash at more than 11 stone.

The calf was born to third-time mother Ailsa
The calf was born to third-time mother Ailsa

Third-time-mother Ailsa gave birth to the male rhino calf during the early hours of May 24 after a 16-month pregnancy.

He is the fourth southern white rhino calf to be born at the park in Bewdley in the last five years and is need of a name.

Under the watchful eye of his 11-year-old mother, the calf was given a brief health check by keepers who confirmed he weighed in at 74 kilograms – around 11 and a half stone.

It means two-and-a-half-year-old Granville, who was the last white rhino born at the park in 2018, now has a baby brother to join him out on the reserves.

WATCH: Baby rhino arrives at safari park

Head of wildlife, Angela Potter, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome a new white rhino calf. He is a very strong boy and has been growing in confidence settling in well since his birth last week.

"This is Ailsa’s third time as a mother, and as expected she has been wonderful – we are very proud of her.

“With each rhino birth we have here at the park, it is a fantastic achievement for the European Endangered Species programme.

"All five species of rhino are decreasing in numbers, and we hope that this birth can continue in helping to bring more attention to the plight of rhino species in the wild.”

West Midland Safari Park has announced the arrival of a new white rhino calf

The park is asking the public to make the final decision on his name from a shortlist supplied by the rhino keepers next week. The name will begin with ‘J’, as all names of babies born at the park in 2021 will begin with this letter.

The youngster has already made his first steps into his paddock and will join his Granville on the safari drive-through within the next week.

The new birth now brings the ‘crash’ of southern white rhino at the Safari Park up to seven. This includes the new arrival’s father, 15-year-old Barney, who himself was born at the park in 2005.

The birth is West Midland Safari Park’s fourth white rhino to be born at the park

White rhinos are the larger of the two African rhino species, they are fairly social animals and live in loose groups in the wild of up to six animals. Their skin is grey in colour and not white, in fact it is no different in colour from black rhinos despite the names.

With wild rhinos continually facing a threat of poaching and habitat loss, the park are committed to continuing their breeding programme, which works to create a reserve population of the animals who are listed as near threatened on the IUC red list. At the last count, just more than 20,000 wild southern white rhinos remained in South Africa.

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