Singapore Zoo visitors will have a new attraction to check out this week. The park is finally allowing its new white rhino calf, officially named Oban, to wander out into the public eye.
Image Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore via Singapore Zoo
Donsa, the calf’s 32-year-old mother, gave birth to the newborn on September 6th, but it wasn’t until September 28th that the zoo made an official announcement to celebrate the event. To date, Donsa has delivered 11 different calves.
Throughout the three-week spans of time that the Singapore Zoo kept things under wraps, the staff monitored and took close care of Oban to ensure his well-being. Fortunately, everything went great.
He spent most of this time bonding with his mother, away from the public, but the zoo now aims to ween him into the social life of a typical zoo animal.
To do that, Oban will begin spending about two hours per day in the public eye before going back into hiding. The zoo will then gradually increase his exposure to the public over time to get him used to all the new company.
As of right now, the only company Oban is accustomed to is that of the park staff, who regularly feed him and scratch his head. Both activities are vital to fostering bonding and trust between man and beast.
Oban is an energetic little fellow, so it shouldn't take him long to get used to all the excited visitors and paparazzi.
Singapore Zoo is now home to seven white rhinos in total, Oban included, which echoes a positive message for the species amid ongoing conservation efforts.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists white rhinos as a near-threatened animal species on the firm’s Red List. Unfortunately, poachers target these animals in the wilderness because their horns rake in large sums of money on the black market.