Christmas celebrations are in order at Aquila Private Game Reserve, situated in the Southern Karoo, with the arrival of a baby white rhino. The rhino cow, who no one suspected of being pregnant, gave birth on Sunday. She still has her two-year-old female calf by her side. The birth came unexpectedly because the mother rhino, was unlikely to mate with a male, until her calf left her to venture out alone.
White rhinos are the largest of the five species of the rhinoceros. They weigh slightly more than an average hippopotamus. White female rhinos are pregnant for approximately 16 months and give birth to a single calf. The calves are accustomed to stay by their mother’s side until they are three years old.
In a statement, the reserve confirmed the birth of the baby rhino.
“The surprise newborn, whose gender is still to be determined, is the second calf to the breathtakingly beautiful cow, who gave birth to her first calf on 16 December 2015 almost two years ago to the day. Her first calf, a healthy female, was still walking with her right up until Sundays surprise birth and for the hours preceding the arrival of her new sibling.”
Picture: Lynley Mitchell, Aquila Private Game Reserve