Singapore Zoo welcomes baby white rhino

The yet-to-be-named Southern white rhino calf staying close to mum Donsa at the Singapore Zoo. The female calf is the 24th such rhino to be born in the zoo.
The yet-to-be-named Southern white rhino calf staying close to mum Donsa at the Singapore Zoo. The female calf is the 24th such rhino to be born in the zoo. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

The Singapore Zoo received an early Christmas gift in the form of a Southern white rhinoceros calf that was born on Thursday.

The female calf, which has not been named, is the 24th such rhino to be born in the zoo. It is also the 12th calf born to its 34-year-old mother, Donsa.

Donsa and the calf's father, Hoepel, arrived in the Singapore Zoo from South Africa in 1992 and 2000, respectively.

"(The baby) is quickly getting her footing and growing stronger," Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said in a video it posted on Facebook on Friday.

Members of the public are unable to see Donsa and her calf yet, but zoo visitors can meet Hoepel and other white rhinos during their daily feeding session at 1.15pm.

White rhinos have been among the animals in WRS' list of attractions since 1972.

WRS started breeding the species in 1996.

Since then, 17 rhinos have taken part in overseas zoos' breeding programmes in Australia, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand.

"The combined effort of successful conservation breeding programmes has allowed the species, which was once in serious threat from extinction, to make a successful comeback, and it is now relatively stable in the wild," WRS said.

White rhinos are considered near threatened in the wild on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 29, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore Zoo welcomes baby white rhino'. Subscribe