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A Dutch zoo welcomes a brand new baby white rhino

posted 25 Sept 2012, 08:49 by Mpelembe   [ updated 25 Sept 2012, 08:49 ]

A Dutch zoo in eastern Netherlands welcomes a rare white new-born rhinoceros.

ARNHEM, THE NETHERLANDS (SEPTEMBER 25, 2012) (REUTERS) - A zoo in Arnhem in eastern Netherlands now boasts of a brand new, rare white rhinoceros.

The male rhino named Vince was born prematurely on Saturday (September 22) and came as a surprise to zookeepers who expected the baby to arrive at the end of October.

"He was born last Saturday morning without anybody present and it was unexpected because we expected it in about six weeks time. That is not terrible because he is very healthy as you can see. The rhinos have their pregnancy for about seventeen months, a month earlier or a month later, it is not abnormal," said zookeeper Rene Rijken.

Vince is the second offspring of 12-year-old rhinoceros Kwanzaa and her 20 year-old mate Gilou.

In the months to come, Kwanzaa and Vince will stay in a stable closed to the public and will not have any interaction with other rhinos.

Once Vince is strong enough he will join the other members of the family in the zoo's spacious outdoor enclosure, but might still need help from the caretakers to protect him from his rambunctious father and older brother. For the moment, he can rely on his mother for protection, Rijken said.

"His father is in an outside enclosure, but when Vince goes outside with his mother, then we keep his father separate for a while, because his father is not always friendly to very young rhinos, so we have to wait until he is a bit bigger that he can take a push from his father. We also have an older brother from him, two and a half years old at the moment," he said.

"Well, we just have to wait and see how that goes, but his mother protects him very well, she will not accept that any harm comes to him," he added.

According to the zoo website, last year a total of only ten of the same species were born in all zoos in Europe.