Monarto Safari Park has unveiled a new behind-the-scenes experience with its youngest Southern White Rhino calf.
For a limited time, visitors can have an up-close and personal 20 minute meeting with Eshe and her mother Umqali with guided access to the paddock where they sleep overnight.
Chief Executive Elaine Benstead announced the calf's name on World Rhino Day, 22 September, exactly two months after her birth.
"I’m delighted to reveal that the little calf’s name is Eshe which means life and energy in Swahili,” said Elaine Bensted.
“Her name is fitting as she has brought new life to this threatened species and it’s fair to say that Eshe is a huge energy ball – she’s often seen thundering around her paddock and keeping mum Umqali on her hooves."
Eshe will play her part in helping to ensure the survival of Southern White Rhinos by boosting the numbers of animals held safely in Australia and New Zealand.
Zoos SA is working with The Australian Rhino Project and other partners to bring a rhino sanctuary to life at Monarto Safari Park. The project will see more Southern White Rhinos relocated from Africa to Monarto Safari Park in 2022.
It is hoped that Monarto Safari Park will eventually become a sanctuary for up to 40 rhino, who will live in the large Wild Africa safari experience area currently being developed.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports there are approximately 10,000 mature Southern White Rhinoceros in the wild and that the population continues to decrease. Poaching for its horn, incorrectly thought to have medicinal properties, is the rhinos’ biggest threat.
Monarto Safari Park is currently home to six Southern White Rhino: Umqali, Uhura, Satara, Ibutho, Savannah and young Eshe. It is also home to two male Black Rhinoceros, Induna and Sentwali.
Beach Energy, sponsors of the threatened Southern White Rhino at Monarto Safari Park, came up with 20 proposed suggestions for names for the baby rhino with keepers whittling the names down to a shortlist ahead of a vote from Zoos SA staff.
Find out more and book a ticket online https://www.monartosafari.com.au/animal-experiences/meet-the-rhino-calf/ .
Photo supplied by Monarto Safari Park