Rare black rhino at Chester Zoo spins round to give birth

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Media captionRare rhino's birth captured on CCTV

The birth of an endangered black rhino has been caught on film at Chester Zoo.

Cameras in the enclosure captured 17-year-old Kitani spinning around to deliver Fara at about 08:15 GMT on Saturday.

The female calf landed safely in a "textbook" birth, said the zoo's curator of mammals Tim Rowlands.

He said Kitani and her new arrival are doing well and the rhino house had been closed "to give the pair some special time together".

"We got a 'maternity suite' ready for her with deep sandy floors and beds of hay but ultimately she chose her own spot.

"The footage has enabled us to witness this really special moment and both mum and youngster are doing really, really well," Mr Rowlands said.

It was the first time Fara's father 15-year-old Sammy has sired a calf since moving from Japan in 2002 to join the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme for the critically endangered animals.

Mr Rowlands said: "The calf is super important to the breeding programme in Europe.

"Her arrival is another step towards sustaining a black rhino population which, in the wild, is being ravaged by poachers on an almost daily basis."

Image copyright AFP

Black rhinos

  • They are classed as a critically endangered species
  • The average height of a black rhino is 5ft 2in (1.6m)
  • They weight between 1,760 - 3,080lbs (798 - 1,397kg)
  • The animals live in tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas and deserts
  • Black rhinos are native to Africa and are found in countries including Namibia

Source: WWF

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