Animal

Endangered white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


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A new baby white rhinoceros born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has become the latest addition to the endangered species.

The male calf was born on October 25 to his mother, Kendi, who was the first white rhino to be born at the Florida theme park back in 1999.

Both Kendi and her calf are doing well, according to Walt Disney Resorts.

‘While rhinos are gregarious by nature; for now, the calf is resting, nursing and bonding with his mom,’ the company said in a statement.

The currently-unnamed calf is the 11th white rhino to be born in Disney’s Animal Kingdom since it opened in 1998.

The baby rhino will join the park’s ‘crash’ – the name for a group of rhinoceroses – in the park’s savanna in a few weeks time.

Guests at the park’s Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction will be able to see him growing up in his natural habitat.

Meanwhile, two other pregnant white rhinos at the park are also expected to give birth in 2021. 

Kendi gave birth to a male calf on October 25 (Picture: David Roark/Disney handout)

Kendi was paired with a male, Dugan, through a species-survival program organised by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to ensure responsible breeding of endangered species.

This is especially significant, as white rhinos are an endangered species with a near-threatened status.

Female rhinos have a 16-month gestation period and typically birth a single calf every two to three years. 

Last April, a white rhino was born in Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou in China, and was named named ‘Da Zhuang’, or ‘Big Strong,’ as it weighed a massive 981 pounds.

Kendi gave birth to a male calf on October 25 (Picture: David Roark/Disney handout)

White rhinos are the second-largest land mammals on Earth after elephants and almost all originate from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe or Kenya.

The ‘white’ in their name doesn’t refer to their colour, but comes from the Afrikaans word ‘weit,’ or ‘wide’ and refers to the animal’s mouth.

There are two types of white rhinos – the more populous southern white rhino and the nearly extinct northern white rhino.

There are about 20,000 southern white rhinos in the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

But their numbers have been severely impacted by poaching and habitat loss, prompting the WWF to categorise them as ‘near-threatened.’

In comparison, the northern white rhino is one of the rarest subspecies on Earth, with only three left on earth – all in captivity, according to the WWF.





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