Rhino’s tend to give birth in the evening or at night, but after a whopping 16 month pregnancy Emily surprised everyone when she had her calf outside in her paddock on Friday afternoon.
“Ideally Emily would have given birth in her stall,” says the zoo’s website.
“But she was quite comfortable and happy outside in the paddock with her neighbours including giraffe, zebra, kudu and ostrich to give birth out in the open with many excited onlookers having the privilege of witnessing the birth as well.”
Keepers eventually had to coax Emily and her calf indoors to stop the little one’s body temperature from dropping, but report that the calf has since been seen suckling and that they are happy with its progress so far.
This is Emily’s second calf, having had her first, a female named Pembe, in 2013. Keepers think that her newest arrival may be a male, but are not yet 100 per cent sure.
The white rhino is an endangered species, with captive breeding the best chance to make sure they don’t die out.