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Czech zoo hails birth of rare rhino, third this year

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Dvur Kralove nad Labem, East Bohemia, Oct 20 (CTK) – Another black rhino, a rare species on the brink of extinction, was born in the Dvur Kralove Zoo last week, being its third young of this species this year and 44th in the zoo’s history, its spokeswoman Andrea Jirousova told CTK on Thursday.

The newborn calf is a female, unlike two males born in June.

The Dvur Kralove Zoo is the only Czech zoo to breed black rhinos, of which only several hundred survive in the wild.

The new young’s parents are Jola, 18, a mother of three, and Mweru, a 20-year-old male who has fathered four offspring in the zoo so far.

“The calf’s weight is lower than usual, which is why the attendants checked its health condition immediately,” one of them, Jiri Hruby, told CTK.

The calf is too small to reach its mothers’ milk, and therefore it has been fed by the attendants. Hruby said he expects it to start drinking from its mother after growing up a little.

At present, the Dvur Kralove Zoo has 17 black rhinoceros, which is the largest group in Europe.

In June, the zoo sent another of its black rhinoceros to be released into the African wild. The female, Eliska, lives in the Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania now. She joined the three rhinos which the Dvur Kralove ZOO sent there in 2009 and which have successfully raised two offspring since.

The zoo also breeds other rhino species. The total of 56 rhinos that have been born there since 1976 include 44 black rhinos, five northern white and three southern white rhinos, a crossbreed of the latter two, and three Indian rhinos.

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