Dublin Zoo have announced the birth of a southern white rhinoceros calf.
Experienced mum, Ashanti gave birth to the healthy male calf at 4.30am on February 10th after a 16-month gestation period.
The youngster is Ashanti’s seventh calf and becomes the newest member of the seven-strong herd (also known as a crash) in the African Plains, including father Chaka.
Lucky visitors will be able to get a glimpse of mother and calf by looking through the window into the Rhinoceros House.
Dublin Zoo currently takes part in a European breeding programme for southern white rhinos. It is estimated that 18,000 of these animals exist in the wild and the majority are found in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya.
Poaching for rhino horn, incorrectly believed to have medicinal qualities, is the most significant threat to the wild population.
Dublin Zoo financially supports the conservation organisation Lowveld Rhino Trust in Zimbabwe, who is help protect rhinos from poachers, treats wounded and orphaned rhinos, monitors rhino populations and is involved with community outreach programmes.
Dublin Zoo, a not-for-profit organisation, is open seven days a week from 9.30am- 5pm in February and 9.30am- 6pm from March – September.