It’s a first for Ireland.
Fota Wildlife Park has announced that a baby Indian rhino has been born at the Cork facility to mother, Maya and father, Jamil.
The baby rhinoceros arrived on September 19th, 2022 after a gestation period of 16 months.
The as-yet-unnamed male calf is the second of only three Indian rhino calves born in any zoological institution this year.
The Indian rhino is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with 3300 living in the wild. The illegal trade of poaching rhino horn for traditional medicine poses the biggest threat to the species.
“Both mother and baby are doing really well,” said Fota Lead Ranger Aidan Rafferty.
“Maya is very protective and is constantly by his side. We’re delighted to see the little calf running around and playing. He is an absolutely gorgeous animal, and he’s getting stronger and more curious every day.”
Planning a visit
If you’re planning a visit to Fota to meet the new addition, it’s best to leave it a little later in the day:
“At the moment, he’s not on view very often to the public as he’s inside the rhino house with his mother and is gradually getting accustomed to going outside for brief periods.” said Aidan.
“The best opportunity to see him is later in the afternoon. As he gets older and stronger, he’ll be introduced to the remainder of the Rhino habitat, which features grass meadows, mud pools, and a lake area.”