Rare white rhino born at Whipsnade Zoo following mother’s 487-day pregnancy

·1-min read

A rare white rhino has been born at a UK zoo.

Nandi, which means sweet one in Zulu, was born at 4am on August 21 at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo to mum Tuli and dad Sizzle.

Team leader Mark Holden said: “We are overjoyed to be welcoming such a precious addition to our crash of southern white rhinos at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.”

Zookeepers had been monitoring the hormone levels of 14-year-old Tuli so they were prepared for Nandi’s arrival after a pregnancy lasting 487 days.

Mr Holden said: “Southern white rhinos are born with over-sized, rubbery feet, which they have to ‘grow into’, so Nandi is understandably wobbly when she walks.

“Rhino calves spend most of their first week or two resting and drinking milk, but over the next few weeks she’ll grow, and as she does she’ll get more playful and confident in exploring her huge enclosure here.”

Nandi will now join an endangered species breeding programme for white rhinos.

According to the World Wildlife Organisation, white rhinos are the second largest land mammal on the planet.

Their name comes from the Afrikaan’s word “weit” - which means wide and refers to the shape of the animal’s mouth.

White rhinos have a square upper lip with almost no hair.

There are two subspecies, the nothnern and southern white rhino. They are found in two different regions in Africa.

There are only about 20,000 southern white rhinos left in the wild because of a combination of factors including poaching and habitat loss.

Nandi will continue her development behind closed doors so is not yet ready for visitors to view.

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