As you may have seen, one of our superstar Rhino mums Meru has given birth to a new baby boy. He’s keeping toasty and warm inside his house right now, but we know all you rhino lovers out there are itching for an update, so here he is.
How big is he?
At one week old this (not so little guy) was a whopping 64.5kg or 9stone! Although he looks tiny next to mum Meru, he’s a stocky little hunk with big chunky feet - just waiting for him to grow into them! Putting this into perspective, even at this young age, it took 3 of the rhino team to handle him for his first health check.
He’s feeding every hour on his mother’s milk alone for at least the first couple months. His growth rate will be quick, reaching half a ton by his first birthday.
What’s his name?
All of the rhinos at Knowsley Safari have names, this helps the team when making records. The rhino are also part of a carefully managed, Europe-wide, breeding programme which means identifying each individual is critical. So selecting a name is an important job, especially one as charismatic as a rhino. The rhino team are going to select a handful of names, ready to get our visitors’ input. Before the team can come up with some options , they need to get to know the newest member of the rhino crash . He has too much personality for just any old name, so we need to find something that suits him, really rolls off the tongue and can be called from the other side of the rhino section!
We’ll all just have to wait and see!
What’s he like?
He’s very lively! As all baby rhinos are, he’s inquisitive and always curious. This helps him take in his environment quickly and learn what’s what. More than anything though, he’s brave! Within the first couple of days he was going that extra few steps to discover more and more.
How’s mum Meru?
In the wild rhinos couldn’t afford to relax after birth. So once the baby was born and she’d regained her strength then her whole world is focused on protecting her calf and looking after his needs. So we can report she’s fit and healthy, doing well and keeping a close eye on the boisterous little boy.
How’s the rest of the crash?
Meru’s last calf Nomvula has had to take a step back to make way for the new baby. She’s been welcomed into the rest of the crash, and is busy transitioning into a more independent, adult rhino. This next stage for Nomvula is a natural learning curve and an important time in her life as well as for the new baby boy.
Why Knowsley has had so many rhino calves born?
This little one is Meru’s 8th baby and she’s actually already a grandmother! We may take it for granted sometimes after so many rhino births here at Knowsley Safari but a baby rhino is a very special thing indeed! We put this down to having a great crash here and having a social structure that emulates how they would live in the wild. We focus a lot of our time on ensuring we have the right dynamics between the females and the bulls. We allow our bull rhino to live in his own territory, as he would naturally, mixing with the females when they’re in season. . This makes for a much more natural breeding process and it’s clearly working.
Our adventurous little guy will soon be able to explore more of his surroundings. He’ll take in the smells of the rest of the crash. Meet the crash themselves getting him prepared for his introduction onto the drive and the many sights and smells he’ll find there. We’re all looking forward to the warmer weather and longer days when we can introduce everyone to the new rhino baby.
Keep your eyes peeled for more updates on our Facebook page and here on our blog!