Chester Zoo are celebrating a new surprise arrival in the form of a baby rhino.
The zoo has welcomed three black rhino calves in less than a year. But greater one-horned rhino Asha decided to match them and has welcomed her own very first calf into the world.
It's the first time in the Zoo's history that a greater one-horned rhino, or Indian rhino as they are also known, has been born at the zoo. The female calf has been named by keepers as Komala.
Tim Rowlands, curator of mammals, said: "Our rhino keeping team, and indeed the rhinos themselves, have had the most fantastic few months with three black rhino calves arriving and clearly our Indian rhinos weren't about to be out done! Although we had an inkling that our Indian rhino Asha was pregnant, it was just that, an inkling and a hunch that comes with experienced keepers
So, it was a rather marvellous surprise to come in and find that Asha had a big bundle of joy of her own."
"Komala is a proper little bruiser; she has that fabulous, slightly wrinkled armoured plating look that comes with Indian rhinos. This is a breeding first for us but also a bonus for the population of Indian rhinos which are yet another rhino species being put at risk as they are cruelly and brutally poached for their horn," added Tim.
FACTS ABOUT INDIAN RHINOS.
· There are 3,000 Indian rhinos left in the wild, 2,000 of which can be found in Assam
· Indian rhinos are classed as vulnerable to extinction
· Calves are born without their horn
· The Indian rhino is the second largest living rhino species. The white rhino is the largest.
Keepers named the new female calf Komala, which means 'delicate' in Indian.