White rhino calf set to charm visitors at Al Ain Zoo

The eight-month-old rhino will be trained to integrate with other animals

Visitors will soon be able to see a baby southern white rhinoceros at Al Ain Zoo.

The baby rhino was born at the zoo eight months ago. A spokesperson of the zoo told The National that after birth he was put together with his mother in a separate barn to bond.

"But now as it became old enough, it was sent to join the group of other rhinos."

At Al Ain Zoo, a group of 11 rhinos – five males and six females – are housed in dedicated animal exhibit zones that replicate their natural African habitat.

Officials said the zoo provides an environment as near as possible to the natural habitats in which the wild rhinos live.

It also has a team of vets and animal care specialists to take care of the animals.

The eight-month-old rhino will be introduced slowly so that it integrates with the other animals.

This training usually takes place in a segregated area for the safety of the specialist and the animals.

The introduction of the newborn rhino is part of the zoo’s programmes to breed and increase the numbers of this endangered species, which is included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

Southern white rhinos have been at the zoo since 2008 under its conservation programme.

Worldwide, numbers of the near-threatened animals are a major success story, making a comeback in recent years with populations swelling to about 21,000.

The zoo sponsors several species conservation programmes around the world in collaboration with other scientific organisations, zoos and governments.

It conducts research on the conservation, breeding and preservation of several endangered species, and returns some to their natural habitats.

It has partnered with the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya to support the protection and conservation of wild black and white rhinos.

It helps Lewa to track each individual rhino to protect them from poachers, monitor their health, and carry out important research.

Al Ain Zoo is home to about 4,000 animals, with more than 200 species.

On October 11, it was announced that two newborn giraffes reared at the zoo would be rehomed in the emirate's safari park near Jebel Hafeet.

Animals at Al Ain Zoo - in pictures

Updated: October 28th 2021, 12:51 PM