Well, it's been over two years now since our beautiful rhino girl Savannah was born and that time has just flown by! She's grown to a massive 1170kg and the last couple of months have been particularly life-changing for her.
As with a lot of animals, the early part a rhino's life is generally carefree and fun. With mum there to attend to their every need including being a very good bodyguard, there is not a lot for a young rhino to worry about. A calf will be the centre of its mother's world for up to two years and can do no wrong - often pushing the older animals around (even including mum at times!) with little fear of repercussions.
This was exactly the case for Savannah. Caballe is a great and experienced mum so Savannah had a great head start in life but that all came to an end on May 4th when her new little brother arrived into the world.
Caballe's response towards Savannah was carefully monitored leading up to her due date, watching out for any signs of aggression. We didn't see any until the night before the new calf was born, and at this point we separated Savannah from her mum. This was quite traumatic for Savannah so we made sure we spent lots of time with her that first day giving her scrubs and mudbaths and making a general fuss of her.
We also pretty quickly started putting her out with 9 year old Inyeti and her 3 month old female calf Mango. To our delight, they immediately accepted her into their little family.
Savannah and Mango get on like a house on fire and it's very cute to see them hanging out together and following each other around the paddock. Soon we will put Caballe and her new little son back with Savannah, Inyeti and Mango and it will be really interesting to see what happens then! But, whatever happens, Savannah will definitely continue to be spoilt - if not by her mum then by all of her keepers.