Rare white rhino born in Israeli zoo

2012-06-16 16:30
A newborn white rhino calf and his mother Tanda at the Ramat Gan safari near Tel Aviv, Israel. (Ariel Schalit, AP)

A newborn white rhino calf and his mother Tanda at the Ramat Gan safari near Tel Aviv, Israel. (Ariel Schalit, AP)

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Ramat Gan - A rare white rhinoceros has been born in a zoo in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, a zoo official told AFP on Saturday.

"This baby rhino, a male, was born early on Friday afternoon without any problems," said Netta Guetta, who heads the African animals department, adding that the newcomer has yet to be named.

"This is an extremely rare event in captivity, and it's touching. Immediately after giving birth, the mother tenderly licked her calf and began to breast-feed," she said.

The 20-year-old mother, named Tanda, weighs two tons and comes from South Africa.

She had already given birth once at Ramat Gan Zoo, where she has been for around six years.

The white rhino is an endangered species.

There are fewer than around 10 000 white rhinos worldwide as the mammals are killed by poachers for their horns, which are then trafficked to Asia where they are falsely believed to have medicinal properties.

Read more on:    israel  |  animals

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