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Colchester Zoo announces birth of white rhino calf
'Emily is a great mum and we're looking forward to watching them bond together as the calf grows.' - Colchester Zoo Animal Care Team

Birth of healthy female captured on CCTV

Colchester Zoo has announced that Emily, one of its white rhinos, has given birth to a healthy female calf. This is Emily’s third calf and is also the fifth to be born at Colchester Zoo as a part of its breeding programme for white rhinos.

The calf was born on Saturday 4 January after a pregnancy lasting 16 months and eight days. The mother was kept under constant CCTV surveillance during her pregnancy so that zoo staff could be on hand as soon as she went into labour.

The birth went smoothly for both mother and calf. The calf took a while to find its feet but was up and walking within a few hours and is feeding well. According to the animal care team’s statement, Emily is ‘an experienced mum and so is taking it all in her stride.’

Mother and calf will now be housed in the indoor area of the rhino house with occasional access to the outdoor hardstands on warmer days. The as yet unnamed calf will gradually be introduced to the rest of the herd as well as the other animals housed in the Kingdom of the Wild enclosure.

White rhinos are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List due to poaching and the ivory trade, and so this birth marks a positive advancement for white rhino conservation efforts.

In the early 1900s only around 20 southern white rhinos remained in the world, but sustained protection and breeding programmes like this one have led to a boost in the population. There are now more than 11,000 white rhinos in the wild and nearly 800 in zoos.

Image (c) Colchester Zoo

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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from bigbutterflycount.org/.

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
New appointment at Dechra

Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd (Dechra) has announced a key appointment to support veterinary professionals across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Karen Hockley has been appointed as a telesales account manager and will provide the latest products, news and developments from Dechra. She joins the company from a large mixed practice in Northern Ireland where she was the branch manager.

Before that, Karen had worked for a multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company as a key account manager for Northern Ireland. She can be contacted at karen.hockley@dechra.com or 087 219 54 30.