The Chester Zoo may be locked down from visitors, but life continues in an exciting — and adorable — way behind closed gates.
Zookeepers announced Friday the birth of an Eastern black rhino at the U.K. zoo. The species is critically endangered.
As an added bonus for conservationists who rarely get to see this, the birth was caught on camera.
The female calf was even captured on video getting to her feet for the first, wobby time.
“The little one suckled from mum, Ema Elsa within just 10 minutes of being born,” the zoo added.
👶🏽🦏 !! RARE RHINO BORN !! 👶🏽🦏— Chester Zoo (@chesterzoo) November 13, 2020
But what shall we NAME the new calf? 🤔Have your say! 📣
Keepers have shortlisted three names, Kasulu (a town in Tanzania), Koshi (meaning ‘to try’) and Kaari (meaning ‘young girl/young daughter’)
Reply or RT to cast your vote NOW 🗳 pic.twitter.com/Od2LuKb0i3
Now, keepers are looking for a name.
The shortlist is down to Kasulu (a town in Tanzania), Koshi (meaning ‘to try’) and Kaari (meaning ‘young girl/young daughter’).
Every new birth matters.
Habitat destruction and poaching has decimated the species. There are perhaps 1,000 individuals left in the world.
Andrew McKenzie, Chester Zoo’s team manager of rhinos, said the whole team is “overjoyed” with this successful birth after a 15-month pregnancy.
“Mum and calf have bonded wonderfully and have been showing us all of the right signs,” he said in a statement Friday. “These rhinos have been pushed to the very edge of existence and every single addition to the European endangered species breeding programme is celebrated globally.”
Zoos around the world are part of a breeding program trying to preserve the species. The animals only live in the wild in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.
“In the future,” McKenzie added, “as we work to ensure more safe areas, we hope Ema and her offspring, like others before them born into the European breeding programme, are one day able to make the journey back to Africa.”
The zoo remains under a nationwide lockdown until Dec. 2.
And on Nov. 20 zookeepers offered this name update:
🦏RARE RHINO CALF HAS A NAME! 🦏— Chester Zoo (@chesterzoo) November 20, 2020
Our keepers asked for your help to name Ema Elsa's precious new arrival ❤
Over 70,000 votes were cast 🤩
🥁 YOUR VOTES HAVE BEEN COUNTED 🥁
ℹ️ Official sources state that this is true ℹ️
Everyone, it's time to meet… pic.twitter.com/foy5WliPVe