Cape Town - Aquila Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape is celebrating the birth of its 4th rhino in 3 months.
This latest calf was born at 09:05 on Wednesday, 13 January, with the birth being monitored from afar by the Anti-poaching unit.
"The calf has suckled on his mother and the mother is well and very protective of the calf."
This 4th rhino birth follows on from the birth of a male calf in October and then a female on 16th December, both are thriving.
The third calf, born in the early hours of New Years Eve had to be rescued from dehydration after being rejected by its mother. To further complicate matters the calf had attached itself to the father, who is very aggressive and he was making it impossible for Vets to get near the calf.
Over the past two weeks the calf has adapted incredibly well to being bottle fed, the reserve confirmed.
"It weighed 65 kg when rescued and at its last weigh in was topping the scale at 80kg. It is fed approximately 1.7 liters 7 times a day. The calf has a small team of dedicated Aquila staff members tending to it. It is not left alone as it tends to get anxious. The plan is to get an animal companion for it."
According to the reserve, the rearing process is an 18 month commitment, after which it is hoped that it can be reintroduced to the rest of the group on the reserve. Until then it joins its carer for daily jogs through the bush, where he is explores the vegetation.
But the little fellow who is "very playful and has become quite a dab hand with the football" remains nameless.
In order to cover the costly process of rearing the orphaned baby rhino which is being handled by ARC (Aquila Animal Rescue Centre), a non-profit organisation set up by Aquila to care for animals in distress and also home to the Saving Private Rhino initiative which offers anti-poaching training free of charge to rangers working on private game reserves with elephant and rhino in Africa, Aquila has launched a naming competition - prizes include overnight stays at Aquila and day visits.
Entrants need to sms the word “rhino” and a suggested name for the calf to 42555. Sms cost R30. The competition ends at the end of January when a shortlist of names will be put onto face book and the public will be asked to vote for their favourite.
To follow the development of this orphaned calf and the other 3 calves at Aquila Private Game Reserve follow on facebook Aquilasafari.