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Rhino calf birth: Incredible footage from Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary

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On an early August morning in 2022, after 15 to 18 months of pregnancy, 9-year-old white rhinoceros Olive gave birth to a male calf. “For the first time,” shares the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary caption, “the birth was captured on video by Olive’s guard.”

“Despite keeping his distance, Olive remained close to her long-term protector throughout the early stages of labour and kept him close during delivery. This is an unbelievably special moment to see this precious new life take his first breaths.”

the beginning of birth
See everything about baby Axl’s first moments in the world, from his birth while still encased in an amniotic sac to his first wobbly steps, likely within his first hour, to nursing.

Rhinoceros calves steady themselves in their first few days, and active little Axl was filmed running around on September 4th. He and his mother live with father Storm, “auntie” Timbi, and other protected orphan and rewilded rhinos in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

“Olive was orphaned in 2013 after poachers killed her mother. She was just 10 months old when she was rescued and brought to Care for Wild. Olive was one of the first rhinos to complete her rehabilitation program and enter the rewilding and release program. Her little son has become the third calf born to two orphans of poaching, making Storm a father for the third time.”

new baby axl
In a Facebook post in February, the sanctuary wrote, “She is an incredible mother. Nurturing, patient, affectionate, teaching, guiding, protecting and loving her little Axl.” Some context from PBS:

“Female rhinos give birth to a single calf, which can weigh over 100 pounds. Rhino breeding patterns depend on the species and its habitat. The mother may stay with her calf for up to four years unless she has another baby, in which case she pushes her older calf into independence to make way for the new arrival…

“In Africa, wildlife crime is the biggest threat to both black and white rhino. The white rhino has been near extinction for decades to the rampant poaching for rhino horn. Habitat loss is another major threat to both species.”

Axl’s birth, the sanctuary writes, is “another light, another sign of hope for the species.”

Olive's guard films the new family
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Next, watch these related videos on TKSST:
• What does a baby rhino sound like?
• Rhino Keepers for a Day
• The three different ways mammals give birth
• A baby alpaca is born at the Bronx Zoo
• Calaya gives birth to baby gorilla Moke at The National Zoo
• An Arabian horse gives birth to a healthy filly

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