June 20 2013 Latest news:
Joe Bill & Paul Jerreat, Features Reporter
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Critically endangered rhino takes first steps outside at Port Lympne
A newborn black rhino has been described as a “beacon of hope” for the critically endangered species as it takes its first steps outside.
Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Hythe has welcomed the baby female to the herd as a hope for the future for the sub species which teeters on the brink of extinction.
Head Rhino Keeper Paul Beer said: “This is mum, Nyasa’s, first birth – both mum and calf are doing really well and we’re all delighted. The little calf is strong and suckling well, we will keep her indoors for the first week or so to monitor her progress, but she should be able to explore her paddocks soon. It will be a while until she and mum can be seen by visitors as a peaceful environment is very important at this early stage of development.”
Port Lympne is home to the largest herd of critically endangered black rhino outside Africa and are experts in breeding the Eastern black rhino with 33 births to date.
The wild animal park works in conjunction with The Aspinall Foundation, the conservation charity that believes in returning animals born at the parks to protected areas in the wild in order to boost indigenous populations. The Foundation recently hit the headlines when they translocated three critically endangered black rhino to Tanzania with Prince William even stopping by to lend support.
Adrian Harland, Animal Director said: “Our impressive breeding record with these animals is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our keeping staff. This is what The Aspinall Foundation is all about – successful breeding programmes with endangered animals so that we can return them to the wild wherever possible.”
For further information regarding The Aspinall Foundation and Port Lympne Wild Animal Park visit www.aspinallfoundation.org/portlympne