A BABY rhino has been born at Folly Farm – and both mum and son are doing well.

Milford Mercury:

The adorable baby rhino is believed to weigh between 30 and 45 kg.

After a 15-month pregnancy, first-time mum Dakima gave birth to the calf on January 16 – one of only an estimated 40 Eastern black rhino to be born in the UK in the past 20 years, and the very first in Wales.

Born just ten minutes after Dakima’s waters broke, the calf made his appearance at 4:37am and within a couple of hours was standing up, following Dakima around the enclosure and suckling from his mum.

Milford Mercury:

Proud mum Dakima is pictured with her newborn calf.

Said Folly Farm zoo curator Tim Morphew: “We couldn’t be happier to welcome our new arrival – Dakima has taken to motherhood like a duck to water.

“She’s being very protective of the baby which is great, because it shows they have a strong bond.

“This is the most important baby ever to be born at Folly Farm and is such a monumental event for all the staff here. Not only is this calf helping to increase numbers of a critically endangered species, he’s also the first rhino ever to be born in Wales.”

Six-year-old Dakima, arrived at Folly Farm in May 2017 as part of a breeding programme and met the love of her life, nine-year-old male Nkosi.

Although mating rhinos can be unpredictable their relationship blossomed and she conceived in October 2018.

Milford Mercury:

Zoo keepers Jack Gradidge and Rachel Puncher make the official birth announcement.

Added Tim: “Most animals give birth at night under the cover of darkness and Dakima was no exception. Our keeper Rachel Puncher found the baby rhino waiting for her in the enclosure on Thursday morning and did a double take before telling the rest of the team the good news.

“We checked the CCTV to find out the time of birth and exactly how it happened. We then left Dakima alone, giving them both some space to bond with the new arrival – but continued to monitor them on the cameras and did regular spot checks to ensure baby was starting to feed.”

The as-yet-unnamed calf is believed to weigh between a healthy 30 and 45 kg, and he and his mum will be monitored closely by keepers in an off-display area to ensure that the pair bond.

Milford Mercury:

Oh baby! Folly Farm welcomes new rhino calf

Said Tim: “When we’re satisfied they’re ready they’ll be back on public display - the welfare of our animals always comes first.”