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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
White rhino born at safari park
Mazumba and mum Dorothy settle into their new home.

A baby white rhinoceros has had her first taste of the limelight just 12 days after being born at a Scottish safari park.

But little Mazumba was in no hurry to meet the world after arriving five weeks later than expected at Blair Drummond Safari Park, near Stirling.

Her keepers said Mazumba was being well looked after by her mother Dorothy.

Successful breeding of captive white rhinos is exceptionally rare, with only five born in Europe last year.

Mazumba, who weighs about seven stone (45kg), is the first rhino to have been born in the park's two-year breeding programme. The public will be able to view her for the first time on Friday.

With so few white rhinos being born in captivity it is a huge moment
Andy McKenzie
Blair Drummond Safari Park

White rhinos are no longer endangered but their survival does depend on conservation.

Breeding females can be rare and it is hoped mum Dorothy will now calf for many years to come.

Andy McKenzie, head of the large mammals section at Blair Drummond, said Mazumba's birth was "massively important".

He added: "We have been building up to this for a long time. With so few white rhinos being born in captivity it is a huge moment, particularly for us here with it being our first.

"The plans for this started some six or seven years ago so to finally bring it to fruition is an amazing event. They are getting on brilliantly, Dorothy seems to be a fantastic mother to Mazumba."

Mazumba and Dorothy will be housed in a new rhino centre at the park, which they moved into at the weekend.

Monitored closely

Senior keeper Chris Lucas said Mazumba was already settling in well to her new surroundings.

Mr Lucas said: "She is actually very confident and is more than happy to come up to the keepers and let us pat her through the bars.

"When they moved into the new house she was the first one in. I think her mother was a bit unsure about it but Mazumba seems a lot more settled in there than Dorothy does."

Mr Lucas said both Mazumba and Dorothy would be monitored closely to ensure they were not distressed by the massive attention that will be placed upon them once the rhino house is open to the public.

He added: "It will very much depend on how Dorothy takes it. If Dorothy is quite settled then Mazumba will take it all in her stride.

"She has taken all the publicity she has received so far particularly well so I don't really envisage too many problems."




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Baby rhino with its mother



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