SINGAPORE: The Singapore Zoo has welcomed a new addition to the family with the birth of a male baby white rhino, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said in a news release on Thursday (Sep 28).
Born to 32-year-old female white rhino Donsa, the new baby rhino - which has yet to be named - was born in the early hours of Sep 6 and is the first male white rhino calf to be born in the zoo in five years, after a string of females.
Zookeepers had prepped the birthing den two days before in anticipation of the new arrival.
He is Donsa's 11th calf and one of seven white rhinos currently living in the wildlife park.
According to Wildlife Reserves Singapore, the new rhino calf was up and about within an hour of his birth. His is currently spending time "bonding with mom" in the zoo.
"An energetic lad, the young one enjoys being scratched with an extended brush," Wildlife Reserves Singapore said.
It added that keepers use this opportunity to get him comfortable with their presence and to pave the way for future medical training, which conditions the animals so that they can be examined without getting stressed.
There have been 21 white rhino calfs born at Singapore Zoo, some of which have been sent to Australia, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand as part of a global exchange programme.
Though Donsa and her baby are currently staying in the zoo's back-of-house facility, Singapore Wildlife Reserves said that members of the public could still meet the father, Hoepel, and other white rhinos during their daily feeding session at 1.15pm.
Together with the Indian rhino, white rhinos are the largest species of land mammal after the elephant. Poached for their horns, they are listed as "near threatened" in the wild on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.