09 22/09/2017

This BABY RHINO pestering its mum is all you need to see this World Rhino Day

A two-month-old baby rhino tries to get the attention of its mum in the most adorable way at Chester Zoo.

The footage of bolshie calf Ike playfully jumping on mum, Zuri, has emerged ahead of World Rhino Day - celebrated globally on Fri 22 September.

Ike is one of two critically endangered Eastern black rhino calves born only weeks apart at the zoo earlier in the year.

The arrival of the precious duo was hailed by conservationists as it is believed less than 650 of the sub-species now remain across Africa, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In the wild, a huge surge in illegal poaching, driven by a global increase in demand for rhino horn to supply the traditional Asian medicine market, has resulted in around 95% of all rhinos being wiped out in the last century.

The issue is being driven by the street value of rhino horn, which is currently changing hands for more per gram than gold, diamonds and cocaine. However, modern science has proven that rhino horns are made primarily of keratin, the protein found in hair, fingernails and animal hooves.

World rhino day

Stuart Nixon, the zoo’s Africa Field Programmes Coordinator, said:

You’re likely to get exactly the same health benefits by chewing your own fingernails as you are taking powdered rhino horn. Yet in South African alone, more than 500 rhinos have been killed so far this year.

The IUCN estimates that, on average, almost two rhinos have been killed every day in Africa for nine straight years and they could be extinct in as little 10 years.

Rhinos need protecting, not poaching.


Chester Zoo is currently home to 10 critically endangered Eastern black rhinos and two greater one-horned rhinos.

Through its Act For Wildlife conservation movement, the zoo has also recently provided support for rhino protection to its partners the Big Life Foundation in Chyulu Hills National Park in Kenya and the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust in Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania.

 

World rhino day

Chester Zoo and rhino conservation in Africa

  • Eastern black rhinos are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • The growing price of rhino horn has led to a massive decline in rhino numbers, which have decreased by around 95% across Africa since the turn of the 20th century. 2014 was branded ‘the worst poaching year on record’ by leading conservationists after over 1,200 rhinos were hunted in South Africa alone - a 9,000% increase from 2007
  • Chester Zoo is fighting for the survival of Eastern black rhino and has long supported conservation efforts in the wild to try and protect black rhinos and continues to fund, and provide expertise, to numerous sanctuaries in Africa
  • The Chester Zoo Black Rhino Programme started in 1999, in partnership with Save the Rhino, providing substantial financial support to Kenya Wildlife Service to enable the translocation of 20 black rhinos to wildlife reserves in the Tsavo region of Kenya
  • Recently the zoo has also provided support for rhino protection to its partners the Big Life Foundation in Chyulu Hills National Park in Kenya and the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust in Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania
  • In June 2015, the world’s leading experts on rhinos and rhino conservation came together in Europe for the first time when Chester Zoo hosted over 100 zookeepers, researchers, scientists and conservationists from the USA, Australia, Africa and Europe to debate issues surrounding the five species of rhino – black, greater one-horned, white, Sumatran and Javan rhino

Chester Zoo and the conservation-breeding of Eastern black rhinos

  • Chester Zoo has been successful in breeding a number of critically endangered black rhinos and plays a vital part in the international breeding programme, helping to ensure an insurance population exists in the event that black rhino become extinct in the wild
  • The latest arrival means that 10 Eastern black rhino calves have now been born at the zoo in the last 20 years
  • The zoo’s director general, Dr Mark Pilgrim, is responsible for managing the European breeding programme for the Eastern black rhino
  • Ground-breaking science by a team at Chester Zoo team has contributed to the zoo’s successful black rhino breeding programme. Zoo researchers have spent several years carefully monitoring the hormone levels of their resident female rhinos in a bid to discover the best time to introduce them to a potential partner. These hormone levels are monitored by analysing rhino dung. Tracking hormones gives an insight into what is going on inside the animals. It can help tell things like whether or not an animal is a seasonal breeder, whether it has reached puberty, whether it’s cycling on a regular basis or not and when the optimum time to introduce a male to a female is, as well as diagnose pregnancies and estimate when an animal will give birth
The zoo is currently home to 10 critically endangered Eastern black rhinos and two greater one-horned rhinos 
Baby black rhino


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