15 May 2012
Wooo-hoo! The Zoo Crew has some wonderful news to share with the world, are you ready? Australia Zoo is set to welcome a big baby into the world, a baby rhino that is!
Inyeti, one of our gorgeous 2000kg rhinos is expecting her first calf to first-time dad, DJ.
Inyeti's has hit Australia Zoo with the most exciting news of the year and the next 16 months is certainly going to be a long wait for her excited keepers.
Inyeti is a six-year-old southern white rhino and is the first successful conception for Australia Zoo's rhino breeding program which comes just one year after the birth of 60kg Savannah to mum Caballe.
For Robert, Bindi and Terri Irwin, it was a special Mother's Day surprise.
"It is huge news for us, being the first baby for Inyeti and the first conception here at the Zoo," Terri said.
"It was very exciting news when we found out she was expecting and there is a great buzz around the zoo now."
The arrival of a baby southern white rhino will be yet another win for the survival of the species. With numbers estimated at just 20,150 in the wild, with a further 780 in captivity, every birth is crucial to ensure the survival of these majestic creatures.
"It is vital that we keep working to save this species, not just here at the zoo but through our work in Africa and putting an end to poaching," Terri said.
"Our new arrival is exciting news for the species and one more step in the right direction for protecting these magnificent creatures."
It will be at least 16 months before a new rhino is born with Inyeti's big bundle of joy expected in April next year.
Australia Zoo Curator Kelsey Mostyn said Inyeti would make a wonderful first-time mum.
"She is very good with Savannah, Caballe's little baby - although she is a little hormonal at the moment," Kelsey said.
"She has all the makings for a great mum when the calf finally arrives; now we just have to wait."
Inyeti's baby rhino is expected to weigh about 60kg when it is born.