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Baby rhino due at Colchester Zoo in 2019

PUBLISHED: 15:27 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:27 22 May 2019

Emily the white rhino at colchester Zoo is now eight months pregnant, with the zoo expecting a new rhino calf before the end of December 2019 Picture: COLCHESTER ZOO

Emily the white rhino at colchester Zoo is now eight months pregnant, with the zoo expecting a new rhino calf before the end of December 2019 Picture: COLCHESTER ZOO

COLCHESTER ZOO

Colchester Zoo has announced its female white rhino is expecting a calf, with the birth due before the end of the year.

The zoo confirmed that the white rhino, Emily, was eight months pregnant, with her calf due before the end of December 2019.

Zookeepers were able to deduce that Emily became pregnant just two months after the zoo's male white rhino, Otto, returned from a breeding loan to a safari park in Bedfordshire.

A zoo spokesman said: "Otto temporarily left Colchester Zoo on breeding loan to Woburn Safari Park.

"During his time there unfortunately he did not sire any young however, on return to his home at Colchester he soon reignited the flame he had with Emily!"

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Otto is the father of Emily's previous calves, Pembe and Kifaru.

Pembe was born in 2013 and Kifaru was born in 2017.

The pregnancy was confirmed by a specialist lab in Austria by analysing the hormones in Emily's faeces.

Colchester Zoo has had a number of previous successful births as part of the breeding programme for white rhino, with the 2019 baby rhino being the fifth born at the zoo.

The the calf to be born at the zoo was Zamba, he was born via artificial insemination to our late rhinos Cynthia and Simba. Zamba went on to Manor House Wildlife Park in August 2012.

White rhinos are listed as Near Threatened on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This is due to the poaching crisis and ivory trade.

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