Baby rhino boy George named after UK prince

2015-09-22 16:42

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Harare - Rangers in southern Zimbabwe say a black rhino calf born at about the same time as Britain's Prince George really is a boy and can now be "officially" named George.

The young rhino's mother Chiedza is so attentive that she has kept her baby mostly hidden from sight for more than two years in south-eastern Zimbabwe's Save Valley Conservancy.

Rangers knew the calf had been born but it's taken them until now to be able to get close enough to work out that George really is a boy, according to a post on the blog wildlifeandwilddogs, which is managed by well-known wildlife artist Lin Barrie, who is based at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, near the Save Valley Conservancy.

"Now at last we have fully confirmed that young George is in fact a boy and can be officially named so in honour of the young Prince George, who we hope will follow in his families’ footsteps as champions of endangered wildlife and cultures!" the post reads.

It was retweeted by a Save Valley Conservancy twitter account.

Prince George was born on July 22 2013. It's not clear exactly on which day George the rhino was born, though it was about the same time.

"Little George is happily thriving, protected by [Chiedza's] canny intelligence," says the blog post. He is old enough to have been given his own tracking number. Chiedza means dawn or first light in Zimbabwe's Shona language. 

Lodges and wildlife workers often name wild animals to help in identification and, sometimes, to endear the animals to tourists.

The news of George is a welcome development on World Rhino Day following revelations that rhino poaching figures in Zimbabwe are higher than previously thought. Conservationists now say that more than 20 rhino have been poached in the southern African country so far this year, nine of them in the Save Valley Conservancy.

The state Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) said on Tuesday that the worst year for rhino poaching in Zimbabwe was 2011 "when the country lost 30 rhinos in private land and 5 rhinos in state land".

Read more on:    prince george  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  conservation  |  animals

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