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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Monday, 25 March, 2002, 21:18 GMT
Rare treat for safari park crowds
Baby Southern White meets the public
The rhino made her debut before park visitors
A new arrival is bringing in the crowds at the West Midlands Safari Park.

As yet un-named and weighing 70 kg, the baby Southern White Rhino was born on 27 January but has only just been introduced to the park's visitors.

So far she has been out playing with her mother Trixie and two of her aunts.

Bob Lawrence, head warden of the park in Bewdley, Worcestershire, said that within hours of her birth, the youngster was chasing keepers out of her pen.

The baby Southern White Rhino
The rhino is fed on milk for up to 12 weeks

"It's very gratifying to see her doing so well, especially as last year was very difficult for us because there were nine outbreaks of foot-and-mouth on farms in this area."

The rhino is the second to be born at the park in two years.

Last year a male was born who was given the name Hope.

Mr Lawrence said they make up a tiny addition to the world's Southern White population which stands at less than 6,000.

About 30% of the species now live in zoos or on protected land.

Mr Lawrence said: "She will stay on milk for about eight to 12 weeks and then start on a little bit of hay and grass.

"Her dad is Shaka who's been here since 1995 and mum is Trixie who came two years later and they're both from Natal in South Africa."

Click here to go to BBC Hereford and Worcester
See also:

20 Dec 01 | England
Zoo happy over rhino baby
24 Oct 01 | England
Rhino thinks van is 'mum'
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