Square-lipped rhino Kwanzaa gave birth to a male calf on Wednesday 23rd July 2014, at the end of the day. Based on hormone research of dung samples the birth was only expected a month later. The newly born square-lipped rhino calf, which was named Tank, measured more than 50 kgs at birth. Every day, its weight increases by 1.5 to 2 kgs. Therefore, its current weight is estimated at approximately 100 kgs. This morning, Monday 18th August 2014, for the first time the little rhino met the giraffes, zebras and antelopes, which also live on the savannah plains of Royal Burgers' Zoo in Arnhem. Mother Kwanzaa carefully kept an eye on the brave young rhino, which to its own delight managed to challenge a herd of giraffes and succeeded in making them all run away. The introduction went very well and from this day on, the newly born rhino will wander the African plains every day joined by his fellow rhinos, giraffes, zebras and antelopes.
Rhinos are threatened in the wild due to their valuable horns, which are sold at high revenues on the black market, mainly in Asia. Of the five remaining rhino species the square-lipped rhino is the largest and most numerous species, although amounts are dropping radically due to intensified poaching. Recently, the South African government announced that five hundred square-lipped rhinos will be caught in Kruger National Park and transferred to other national parks in order to protect them from poaching activities. The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) monitors an international breeding programme for square-lipped rhinos. Every new arrival is very welcome however, since despite all efforts each year only approximately ten rhinos are born in all EAZA-zoos together. The past decennium Royal Burgers' Zoo succeeding in breeding three rhino calfs already.