The Ramat Gan Safari announced Friday the rare birth of a white rhino calf. The birth, following an 18-month pregnancy, was said to have important implications for the species, which is considered endangered.
This was the second successful birth for the mother, 20-year-old Tendra, and safari officials said congratulatory messages have been streaming in from zoos all over the world. White Rhinos are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity and every successful birth is important for the species. Tendra’s first calf, Timor, is the only other white rhino born in the Ramat Gan Safari in the past 20 years. Safari officials said that judging by past experience, Tendra would be a good mother to the newly born calf.
The sex of the calf has yet to be determined.
An estimated 300 white rhinos are killed every year by poachers who hunt them for their prized horns, which are sold on the black market for millions of dollars.
The rhino receives its name not from its color, but from the Dutch settlers in Africa that gave it the name “whyde,” meaning wide, referring to the animal’s square mouth. Confusion in translation then led to the name “white” being adopted.