11 July 2013

This month’s animal profile takes a look at one of our most recent additions to the Zoo family, our 6-week old baby Southern White Rhino calf. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Peppa’ by keepers, the baby calf is doing well and will receive her official name when she is a bit older.

Since her birth, Peppa has been receiving round-the-clock care from our expert keeper and vet teams. Despite a couple of tough weeks, the baby rhino is a real fighter who continues to get bigger and stronger after some initial set-backs.

Peppa is a hungry calf, drinking more than 16 litres a day of specially made formula for rhinoceros. This will eventually be reduced as she gets older but in the meantime she is enjoying her regular feeds and signals to the vets that she thinks it is time for a feed by sucking on their trouser legs.

She’s very affectionate and has formed a real bond with our keepers and vets, especially if they give her a pat underneath her tummy or let her soak up the winter sunshine.

With just over 20,000 left in the wild, Peppa forms a critical part of the international conservation efforts to save the Southern White Rhino from extinction. So far this year, over 400 rhinos have been lost to poaching as demand for rhino horn increases. The birth of a white rhino is extremely important for the genetics of the rhinoceros population in the region and is vital for the conservation of rhino populations worldwide.

After just passing the 90 kilogram mark, Peppa still has a lot of growing to do before she is introduced to the rest of the rhino herd and we thank everyone for their patience while she is off display.

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