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World Rhino Day!

Zoo News - Posted 21 September 2016

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Thursday 22 September is World Rhino Day, a day to celebrate all five rhino species and raise awareness so they thrive in the wild for future generations. 

There are six Southern White Rhinoceros at Hamilton Zoo. Males Kruger and Samburu and females Kito, Imani, Moesha and Jamila.

It’s been a very exciting year for dad Kruger and mum Kito with the birth of their son Samburu on 28 June. Weighing an impressive 63kg at birth, he has thrived and almost three months on is a whopping 150kg!!

BabyRhinoImage Rhino calf 3weeks 6 Rhino calf 3weeks 7

Kito and newborn Samburu                    Samburu exploring (three weeks old)


Shouldn’t they be in the wild?

Yes but unfortunately their natural habitat is not the safe place for rhinos that it should be. Once found throughout Euroasia and Africa, their numbers have dropped dramatically due to habitat loss and poaching. In the late 19th century, the southern white rhino was thought to be extinct but in 1895 a small population of less than 100 individuals was discovered in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.

Today, after 121 years of successful protection and management, they are classified as ‘near threatened’ in the wild. Although still hunted and poached for their horns – believed to have medicinal qualities in some cultures – about 20,000 animals exist in protected areas and private game reserves. Zoos like us play their part by showcasing animals as ambassadors for wild populations and conservation projects, as well as providing genetically sound reserve populations.

Hamilton’s white rhino breeding programme has been exceptionally successful with seven rhinos born at the zoo. They include:

Inkosi (male) born 6 January 2002. Inkosi moved to Auckland Zoo on 16 May 2007.

Mtoto (male) born 17 February 2004. Mtoto also moved to Auckland Zoo with Inkosi on 16 May 2007. He moved again on 6 September 2016 to Altina Wildlife Park in New South Wales, Australia.

Imani (female) born 26 March 2007. Imani remains at Hamilton Zoo.

Kifaru (male) born 30 April 2009. Kifaru moved to National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra on 6 April 2014.

Kifaru taken 30april09 on first day Kifaru taken 9june09 at 5 6weeks

Newborn Kifaru                                Kifaru smooching with mum Moesha


Ubuntu (male) born 12 March 2010. Ubuntu also moved to National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra with Kifaru on 6 April 2014.


Ubuntu enjoying a snack with mum Kito


Jamila (female) born 6 March 2012. Jamila also remains at Hamilton Zoo. Jamila’s dad is Kruger and mum is Moesha.




Samburu (male) born 28 June 2016. 

Rhino calf 3weeks 8

Samburu peaking out from under mum Kito


How can we help?

Meet our rhinos up close with a Face2Face encounter. Learn about their personalities, lives here at Hamilton Zoo and conservation issues in the wild. 10% of every encounter fee goes directly to the Hamilton Zoo Conservation Fund who support the work of the Save the Rhino International.

Celebrate World Rhino Day and join in the Face2Face Rhino encounter. Thursday 22 September at 12.30pm. $15 per person but limited spaces are available so arrive early to secure your spot. 


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