Durban – It was double the joy at the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary after a rhino orphan gave birth to its first calf which also treated rhino monitors with its first vocalisations.
On Sunday afternoon, Care for Wild shared the wonderful news that orphan Annie gave birth to her first calf. The sanctuary also captured the calf’s birth on video.
“We write this announcement with so much gratitude in our hearts. We are so humbled and so happy to announce that released orphan Annie has safely delivered her first calf,” Care for Wild said on its Facebook page.
“It felt like we waited an age for this little one to make his appearance! Annie’s exact due date was not known and she certainly gave us plenty of false alarms! But after Annie began to isolate herself from her friends, rhino monitors have been watching her closely over the last few weeks.
“Annie is a very small female and there were concerns that the birth might present complications. But this sweet rhino knew exactly what she was doing and where to go for support.”
Care for Wild said that Annie has been sticking to her protectors like glue and has been receiving supplementary food to help build her energy. Her water broke at 5.07am on Friday after which she walked up high into the mountain to find a quiet spot to deliver her calf.
“Annie did so so well. It was not an easy birth. Annie’s calf is a big boy with even bigger feet!” Care for Wild said.
It added that footage of the birth was captured by Annie’s rhino monitors who watched over her during the delivery with veterinary support on standby should the need arise.
“As soon as he could walk, she brought him to her guards to show them as though also seeking comfort and reassurance,” Care for Wild said.
The sanctuary added that it is important to note that Annie, like the other orphan mothers, was not raised by her mom, they were never shown how to be moms.
“We are so proud of how well Annie is adapting to motherhood and the amazing, humbling strength that she has always shown,” Care for Wild said.
It also said that you will hear the calf's first vocalisations if you listen closely towards the end of the video footage.
Last month, Care for Wild shared footage of another rhino birth. Orphan Tana gave birth to her first calf on November 9 at 1.35pm.
Care for Wild said that rhino monitors suspected the birth was imminent as Tana had separated herself from her crash and isolated in dense bush.
“The delivery itself took only 6 minutes! It wasn’t long before the baby was attempting to stand. Incredible drone footage captured the precious first moments between mom and baby as she calmly tried to help him to his feet. Tana did so well; we are incredibly proud of her,” Care for Wild said at the time.
Tana’s newborn rhino was the eighth calf to be born at Care for Wild, marking another monumental milestone in the conservation of the species.
Tana was rescued in 2014 after poachers killed her mother. After extensive rehabilitation, she entered the rewilding and release programme in 2017 with her best friend Wyntir, who gave birth to their first calf in 2022.
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