A one-week-old rhino calf born at Chester Zoo has ventured outside to play for the first time.
The little youngster spent around an hour running around and rolling in sand before returning to mum’s side and heading off for a much-deserved nap.
Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals at Chester Zoo, said:
“Malindi has bonded very well with her new calf during these important early days and, as an experienced mum, is doing a great job once again. The calf has bundles of energy and keepers will soon choose a name that perfectly matches his big personality.”
Most rhino births typically happen during the quiet of night, but the calf was born to experienced mum Malindi just before 1pm on Tuesday 31 July in front of surprised onlookers at the zoo.
The Eastern black rhino is listed as critically endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. Experts fear as few as 650 remain in the wild.
The growing price of rhino horn has led to a massive increase in poaching and subsequent decline in rhino numbers, which have decreased by around 95% across Africa since the turn of the 20th century. Rhino horn is currently changing hands for more money than gold and drugs.
Chester Zoo is fighting for the survival of Eastern black rhino and has long supported conservation efforts in the wild to try and protect black rhinos and continues to fund, and provide expertise, to numerous sanctuaries in Africa.