27 October 2011
For those of you have recently visited the zoo, you may have seen our delightful rhino calf Savannah who has been enjoying hanging out in Africa with her mum Caballe, our lovely female Inyeti and the awesome male DJ. Savannah currently weighs in at a whopping 350kg, but when you compare that to her mum who is about 1620kg - she's still got a LOT of growing to do! Caballe has been a brilliant mum to little Savannah and although she is very protective when she needs to be, she is also happy to let Savannah explore and play with her other two rhino paddock mates - and sometimes cause a lot of mischief! The fact that she is such a good mum is to be expected considering Savannah is Caballe's fourth calf! She had three other healthy babies that were born and raised at her previous home in New Zealand and this experience means that she can give Savannah the best chance of growing into a well adapted and confident adult rhino.
Meanwhile we have all got our fingers crossed that our gentle giant DJ may become a father to his own calf in the near future. The gorgeous Inyeti has been in season a few times and they have had some encouraging matings recently so here's hoping that we may soon have a mini DJ running around too! Both of these individuals have such sweet temperaments that we are sure the resulting calf would be an absolute delight. However, even if Inyeti does fall pregnant, it will be a long wait till we get to enjoy a new calf, with rhino pregnancy's lasting anywhere from 16 to 18 months. Crikey!
When Inyeti or Caballe are in season, you may notice that the giraffe don't join the rhinos and zebra in our African exhibit. This is simply due to the fact that DJ becomes very protective of his girlfriend over the couple of days that they are courting and we wouldn't want a cheeky and inquisitive giraffe getting caught in the middle of a rhino love in!! The zebra meanwhile are perfectly happy to mind their own business and get on with the important business of eating all that yummy grass....
In the meantime, come on down and visit our gorgeous African animals and enjoy our beautiful, crazy baby rhino Savannah!
Manu - Head of Africa
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