It's a boy! Singapore Zoo gets first male rhino in five years

White rhinoceros Donsa gave birth early on Sept 6 to her 11th calf and the Singapore Zoo's first male rhino in five years, after a string of females. The youngling has yet to be named, but is reported to be energetic and healthy.
White rhinoceros Donsa gave birth early on Sept 6 to her 11th calf and the Singapore Zoo's first male rhino in five years, after a string of females. The youngling has yet to be named, but is reported to be energetic and healthy.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

An hour after its birth, the Singapore Zoo's latest youngling was already trying to walk.

In the wee hours of Sept 6, the zoo welcomed its first male rhinoceros to be born in five years after a string of females.

It has yet to be named but is reported to be energetic and healthy. He is the 11th calf for Donsa the white rhino, and the zoo's 21st.

By the time zookeepers arrived for work, the young rhino was already wobbling around and taking its first few steps.

Even before its arrival, the youngling was all set for a comfortable life. Zookeepers had prepared a birthing den for Donsa two days before the expected delivery.

To assimilate the calf - the zoo's seventh white rhinoceros - and make it comfortable with the zookeepers' presence, they gave it friendly scratches with a brush. These sessions also help condition the calf to future medical examinations and treatments.

Some of the zoo's rhinoceroses have been sent to Australia, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand as part of conservation efforts through its worldwide animal exchange programme.

Mother and baby are resting at the zoo's back-of-house rhino facility. Visitors will be able to see the calf in a few months, when it is ready to join the rest of the herd.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2017, with the headline 'It's a boy! S'pore Zoo gets first male rhino in five years'. Print Edition | Subscribe