Kent

Rare black rhino born at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

New black rhino calf with mother Ruaha
Image caption The three-week-old calf is likely to be moved to an outside enclosure next week

A black rhino calf has been born at a Kent wildlife park and is preparing to face the outdoors.

The three-week-old calf, who is still unnamed at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, near Hythe, is likely to be moved to an outside enclosure next week.

Keepers said the birth brought the number of critically-endangered black rhinos housed by The Aspinall Foundation to 19.

The foundation also runs Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury.

'Very real threat'

A spokesman for Port Lympne said it was the second calf for 14-year-old mother Ruaha.

He added: "Black rhino face a very real threat of extinction and every birth is vital to ensure their survival."

The Aspinall Foundation said more than 300 rhinos were killed in South Africa last year - 10 of them black rhinos.

It said rhino horns were sought for traditional Asian medicine and were also used for ornamental purposes in the Middle East.

Keepers at the two Kent parks have bred 32 black rhino calves to date.

Five of those had been returned to protected areas of the wild in Africa.

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