Look: First glimpse of baby rhino at Colchester Zoo
- Credit: Archant
The pitter-patter of tiny feet can be heard echoing around Colchester Zoo following the exciting birth of a white rhino calf.
Emily the rhino gave birth to the calf on the evening of January 4, and the team at the zoo made the announcement on January 9 after they could confirm it was happy and healthy.
Staff are monitoring CCTV cameras in the rhino enclosure 24 hours a day to make sure both mother and baby are doing well before being given access to part of their outdoor enclosure in the spring.
A Colchester Zoo spokesman said: "This big bundle of joy is Emily's third calf, all of which she has had with us here at Colchester Zoo with our male white rhino Otto.
"A rhino's gestation period is 16 months, so we were sure that Emily is more than pleased to have successfully given birth and she can now enjoy raising her calf.
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"Emily is a great mum and we're looking forward to watching them bond together as the calf grows."
The zoo are waiting to see the personality of the calf before they name it, however they are welcoming African name suggestions and will announce the name in coming weeks.
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As the calf grows she will gradually be introduced to the main paddock and her neighbours living at Kingdom of the Wild.
Visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of the calf in the zoo from the outdoor viewing area, the balcony inside the Kingdom of the Wild building and the 'Rhino Cam' inside the building.
It was announced that Emily, who has been at the zoo since 2003, was pregnant in May 2019. She carried the new calf for 16 months and eight days after she and Otto successfully bred back in September 2017.
Emily's previous calves, Pembe and Kifaru, were also sired by Otto, who arrived at the zoo in 2009.
Pembe was born in 2013 and Kifaru was born in February 2019.
Otto temporarily left Colchester Zoo on breeding loan to Woburn Safari Park, but returned after the breeding scheme at the park was unsuccessful.
The birth of the new calf follows a baby boom in the zoo, with Amur leopards, Amur tigers and red pandas all being born in 2019.
Colchester Zoo has had a number of previous successful births as part of the breeding programme for white rhinos and this new arrival will be the fifth calf to be born at the zoo.