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Five More Rhino Births on Lewa!

June 09, 2008

Over the past three weeks, Lewa has been lucky enough to witness the birth of three more black rhinos and two whites but unfortunate to see the death of one of our hand-reared calves, Tula. So far this year we have seen six new calves bringing our black rhino numbers to 57 and whites to 40.

The births started on the 29th March when Sonia, a black rhino was spotted with a new calf, estimated to have been born within a week of sighting. Sonia has now given birth to four calves on Lewa.

On the 2nd April, Juniper was seen with a new calf, after being missing for a week. Juniper has now produced five calves here on the Conservancy.

This birthing pattern was continued two days later when Zaria was seen with her 6th calf born here! We believe that the father for Zaria's and Sonia's calves is the same male: Ibong.

All the three females had inter-calving intervals of less than 2 years and 4 months which is extremely commendable considering that majority of females of black rhinos usually demonstrate inter-calving intervals of 2.5 years.

On 10 April Schini, a white female who has not given birth before, was spotted with a calf. Then finally today, as I write, Tale, a white rhino translocated from Solio to Lewa in 2003, was just been seen with her first calf.

With these births we are sad to report the death of Tula. Tula was nearly four years old and had been hand reared since birth after her mother, Mawingo, lost track of her. She had been raised with her younger sibling, Elvis and recently had been spending a lot of time in the bush. She was seen in poor condition, treated for colic but did not recover. She died on the 20th March. A subsequent post mortem confirmed colic, probably aggravated by the presence of stones and a small nail in her stomach.