CUMBERLAND, OH (WCMH) — The Wilds recently welcomed a female southern white rhinoceros calf.
The baby rhino was born in the pasture on October 5.
The calf is the second fifth-generation white rhino to be born outside of Africa-and both fifth-generation calves were born at The Wilds.
The new calf was born to second-time mother, Anan, and first-time father, Roscoe. Anan’s first calf, a male named Letterman (born at The Wilds in 2014), was the first fifth-generation white rhino to be born outside of Africa. Anan had a notable birth herself as she was the first fourth-generation rhino to be born outside of Africa, and she, too, was born at The Wilds. Anan’s mother, Zen, was the very first rhino born at The Wilds in 2004 and is still a part of the conservation center’s breeding herd.
This is the 17th white rhino born at The Wilds.
“Every birth at The Wilds is significant, but this one is particularly special to us. With each new generation of rhinos born, it is a testament to the success of the breeding program at The Wilds but more importantly a success for this species as a whole. The Wilds is proud to be a part of the conservation initiatives ensuring the survival of this species,” said Dr. Jan Ramer, vice president of The Wilds.
The white rhino population had dwindled to perhaps only 50-200 at the beginning of the 20th century, but through conservation efforts, the population of white rhinos in their native African range has rebounded to about 20,400 animals. However, even with the increase in numbers, the species remains classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). All five remaining rhino species in Africa and Asia (white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, greater one-horned rhinoceros, Javan rhinoceros, and Sumatran rhinoceros) are persecuted by poachers who sell rhino horn for ornamental or traditional medicinal purposes even though there are no scientifically proven health benefits for its use. The horns are made of keratin-the same substance that makes up fingernails and hair. The International Rhino Foundation, which receives support from The Wilds, estimates that one rhino is killed every eight hours for its horn.