Mystery as 'precious' baby rhino dies five days after birth sparking urgent probe at Australian zoo | The Sun

A RARE baby white rhino has died suddenly less than a week after she was born at a zoo.

The "precious" unnamed Southern white rhino calf was born early on Tuesday morning at Werribee Open Range Zoo in Australia.

Zookeepers noticed the newborn wasn't thriving as expected and was struggling to bond with her mother Kipenzi. 

The calf was then given around-the-clock care and was slowly being reintroduced to her mother when she died.

Zoo staff attempted to resuscitate the calf, but they were unsuccessful.

An urgent investigation found the calf suffered “a neurological episode just before midnight Saturday, followed by cardiac arrest”, said the zoo.


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The zoo’s director Mark Pilgrim said staff were devastated, but had done an excellent job in caring for the newborn during her first critical days.

“The death of any animal is challenging for all involved, but we can find comfort in the knowledge that every action was taken to ensure the calf was receiving the best care possible,” said Dr Pilgrim.

“We know this news will bring sadness to our zoo community, and our kind thoughts are with them and all who cared for this precious calf, and particularly with our vet and keeping teams who worked tirelessly to care for the calf over the past five days.”

There are around 16,000 white rhinos in the world, many still living in the wild, mainly in South Africa and Uganda, but the species is hugely under threat from poaching.

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The white rhino is particularly vulnerable, because it is generally not an aggressive animal with very poor eye-sight.

In 2018, heartbreaking photos showed keepers comforting the world's last male northern white rhino before he died.

The touching images show a wildlife ranger pressing his forehead gently on that of huge Sudan's, and another affectionately rubbing his ears.

The large male had a cloth placed over his huge back as keepers made him comfortable.

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