Critically-endangered baby black rhino born at Chester Zoo

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The birth of an endangered baby rhino at Chester Zoo will be “celebrated globally”, according to keepers as there are less than 1,000 left of its kind.

The arrival of the healthy female eastern black rhino following a 15-month pregnancy was caught on a security camera at the zoo.

Pictures show the young calf suckling from her mother Ema Elsa just 10 minutes after she was born.

Andrew McKenzie, team manager of rhinos at the zoo, said: “The birth of a critically endangered eastern black rhino is always very special.

The young calf was suckling from her mother Ema Elsa within 10 minutes of being born

“And to be able to watch on camera as a calf is born is an incredible privilege – with rhino numbers so, so low it, sadly, isn’t something that’s captured very often.

“Seeing the little one then get to her feet with a gentle nudge from mum; take her first tentative steps and suckle for the first time is then the icing on the cake.

Fewer than 1,000 eastern black rhinos remain on the planet blamed in part by experts on the surge in demand of rhino horn stemming from the Asian medicine market.

The eastern black rhino is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered. In the wild, they are now found only in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Followers of the zoo on Facebook can take part in a poll to choose between Kasulu, Koshi and Kaari.

“These rhinos have been pushed to the very edge of existence and every single addition to the European endangered species breeding programme is celebrated globally,” Mr McKenzie said.

The zoo is now asking animal lovers to help choose a name for the youngster.

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