Baby rhino wins hearts with cute looks – and attitude


The Kragga Kamma Game Park’s newest addition to its rhino family is growing fast, and developing an attitude even faster.

Since his birth two weeks ago, the little bull has picked up between 15kg and 20kg and never strays more than a few metres from his 18-year-old mother, Bella.

But drive a little too close and the feisty little bull might just give a huff and take a charge at your vehicle, albeit very clumsily and never with any real aggression.

The game park’s co-owner, Ayesha Cantor, said the public had taken a great interest in the calf, visiting the park in droves and posting all kinds of pictures on social media.

“We have seen visitors coming specifically to see and take pictures of our new baby. He really is so cute and people just cannot get enough of him.”

Cantor said because they felt their rhinos were part of the local community, they had asked the public to help them name the new calf.

“As in the past, we would like some public input, as we like to believe our rhinos are just as much part of this community as we are,” she said.

“So this way people can become personally involved, and we may even get more visitors through the gates.”

The public can visit the park’s Facebook page and leave their name suggestions there.

Meanwhile, Bella’s two-year-old son, Champ, has found a new mother figure and has been seen trailing his sister, Bembi, 7.

Bembi, who is the mother of threemonth-old Bonnie, does not seem bothered by the new addition.

“Bella chased Champ off, which is natural as she now has to look after her new baby,” Cantor said.

“At first we were a little surprised that Bembi allowed Champ that close to Bonnie. From time to time she still chases him off, but not very far.

“But rhinos are generally quite social, and once the calves are a little bigger they might all come together again and form one big herd.”

The father of Champ and the new calf, Chuck, 11, usually wanders around the park on his own, but could be seen keeping a close eye on Bembi, Bonnie and Champ yesterday.

Over the past two weeks he has also been seen near Bella and his new baby, as if making sure they are all still safe.

Cantor said this new addition was likely to be the only baby rhino the park would see for the next three years, as their mature cows would not be able to fall pregnant for at least a few more months, and the gestation period was 18 months.

Cantor admitted the potential danger of poaching was always a concern, but said the rhinos were under 24-hour surveillance.

“We have eyes on our rhinos all the time. We also dehorn and trim our rhinos on a regular basis to minimise the risk of poaching.”

She said that after news of the calf’s birth broke they had received countless messages discouraging them from publicising information about their rhinos. While the public’s concerns are valid, she believes the publicity is still in their favour.

“We need people to visit the farm, because that is how we make money to further help with our security and conservation.

“Also, the pictures show our rhinos have no horns, so hopefully that will take the targets off their backs.”

One thought on “Baby rhino wins hearts with cute looks – and attitude

  • March 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm
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    such a pity that the rhinos have to be dehorned because of humans. the “baby’ is to cute.

    Reply

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