David Beckham and Harper meet rhino at Cotswold Wildlife Park
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It is the fourth southern white rhino born at the West Midland Safari Park in five years, making it an important contribution to the future of the species. Third-time mum Alisa gave birth to the male calf on May 24, which currently remains unnamed.
The newborn was given a health check as his 11-year-old mother watched over him, with keepers confirming that he weighed 11-and-a-half stone (74 kilograms) at birth.
The last white rhino born at the park was Granville in 2018, who now has a new baby brother to keep him busy on the reserves.
Angela Potter, Head of Wildlife, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome a new white rhino calf.
“He is a very strong boy and has been growing in confidence settling in well since his birth last week.
“This is Ailsa’s third time as a mother, and as expected she’s been wonderful – we are very proud of her.
“With each rhino birth we have here at the Park, it’s a fantastic achievement for the European Endangered Species programme.
“All five species of rhino are decreasing in numbers, and we hope that this birth can continue in helping to bring more attention to the plight of rhino species in the wild.”
White rhinos are quite social animals and live in loose groups of up to six in the wild, as well as being the larger of the two African rhino species.
They are continuously facing the threat of poaching and habitat loss. with just over 20,000 wild southern white rhinos currently remaining in South Africa.
The public are now being asked to help name the latest addition from a shortlist of potential names given by the keepers.
It will begin with ‘J’, as all names of babies born at the Park this year will start with this letter.
The baby rhino has already taken his first steps into his paddock and will join his brother on the safari drive-through within the next week.
There are now seven of these rhinos at the safari park, including the newborn’s 15-year-old father, Barney, who was also born there in 2005.
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