The calf born to a relocated rhino is the sanctuary’s first.
There’s been a lot of bad news regarding rhinos the past year or two, but finally a good story comes about. A rare black rhino calf has been born in Kenya.
The black rhino has been in trouble for some time now. The animals are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
So the news of a black rhino calf being born March 11 in Kenya’s Sera Community Rhino Sanctuary is a big deal. The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) made the announcement of the calf’s birth in a press release on their website. Just how rare is a black rhino birth these days? This is the first one on community land in over 25 years in northern Kenya and brings Sera’s population up to 11 animals.
The mother rhino named Naitamany was actually transferred to Sera while five months pregnant with her fourth calf back in May 2015. She originally lived in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
“We were worried she might lose the baby due to post translocation stress, but she settled in so well and has carried the pregnancy to term,” NRT’s senior research and monitoring officer Antony Wandera said in the release.
The good news of the calf should help bolster the NRT and Sera Community’s hopes for the sanctuary to become a place where they can build a breeding population of black rhinos. Eventually, they are hoping they can take rhinos from the sanctuary to help rebuild populations in other areas where it has been devastated due to over-hunting and poaching.
The press release notes there are plans for 10 more rhinos to be added to the Sera Rhino Sanctuary this year. It will take some time for black rhino numbers to rebound because they reproduce slowly. The NRT reports female black rhinos will have calfs at a rate of every two or three years.
But for now, the new calf represents hope for the critically-endangered species.
“The monitoring team were so excited to find the calf, and are planning a naming ceremony as soon as the sex can be determined.” Wandera said in the release.