Joy as second rhino calf born to second rhino cow

Joy as second rhino calf born to second rhino cow two years after abandonment of the first calf

Aquila Rhino Birth 2 (Photo Henk Kruger ANA).jpg

It is with great joy that Aquila Private Game Reserve announces the birth of yet another white rhino calf, born just after 11am on Sunday 26th November 2017. The calf is another special addition to other calves already welcomed at the reserve, in the Western Cape, in the space of two short years.

Sadly, as the global rhino poaching crisis continues to rampage coupled with the mere fact that rhino are notoriously slow breeders – Searl Derman, the owner of Aquila, continues to maintain that every rhino life is important to the survival of the species. The calf, whose gender is yet to be determined, is the second offspring for the cow, and a sibling to Osita, the young rhino that was notably born in the middle of the night on December, 31 2015 and subsequently abandoned.

The bittersweet story of Osita, who is now four weeks shy of his second birthday, unfolded as the public waited with bated breath for updates of his welfare to be revealed on social media. After several attempts to reintroduce mother and baby, Osita was uplifted and taken to be cared for by the experienced ‘Saving Private Rhino’ team before he reached advanced stages of dehydration or suffered potentially fatal injuries by other members of the crash as he desperately sort milk and comfort.

Osita is now a healthy and strong bull, in the final stages of his rehabilitation and reintroduction to the wild. The team are working with him on a soft release programme which has included the successful weaning off of his milk bottles and walks in the reserve to familiarise himself with the environment.

The Aquila team recently called on the services of Dr. Johan Marais and Dr. Zoe Glyphis from ‘Saving the Survivors’ and Dr. Doempies Triegaardt from Bergriver Vet Hospital, to investigate and treat Osita's mother for an abscess on the side of her face. It was an emotional and exciting moment when Dr. Triegaardt was able to examine her and confirm her suspected pregnancy.

Staff at the reserve monitored the cow’s progress during the following months whilst she remained in the crash, but noted in recent days that she was showing signs of the impending birth. The mother and baby are doing well and the team have noted a strong bond which is a positive indication and a great relief.
The joy of the birth is a wonderful and special milestone as we continue to be grateful to the anti-poaching unit who are committed to the daunting task of protecting another treasured rhino. The unit reported that it was a privilege to have witnessed the pair together and a moment “that will live with them forever”.

Aquila Rhino Birth 1 (Photo Henk Kruger ANA).jpg
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