Rare white rhino calf born at the Cotswold Wildlife Park and named royal
A rare white rhino has been born in a wildlife park in the Cotswolds – and named Queenie in honor of Her Majesty.
Queenie is the newest addition to the Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens rhino family and is the ninth calf white rhino to be born in the Burford collection. This is Monty and Nancy’s fifth breeding success together.
Her name was chosen to mark the year of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The arrival of a white rhino is so rare that there have only been four other white rhino births in the UK and 15 in European zoo collections.
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Visitors can view the newborn every day from 10 a.m. in the solar-powered rhino house or in the large rhino enclosure overlooking the mansion.
Reggie Heyworth, Chief Executive of the Cotswold Wildlife Park, said: “We feel very lucky to have another female rhino calf, who is our fifth female rhino calf in a row.
“All the rhinos here are named after very special people and I think everyone agrees that 2022 will always be special because of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.
“I thought it might be a little presumptuous to name our new baby ‘Elizabeth’, so I named her ‘Queenie’ instead. I think it’s a perfect name for a young female rhino.”
Both Monty and Nancy are 15 and in 2009 Nancy (along with another woman called Ruby) made the 11,000km journey from Mafunyane Game Farm in South Africa to the UK to join young man Monty in their new Cotswold home.
White rhinos are the largest of the five rhino species and range across the grasslands of southern Africa.
These iconic animals were once the rarest of all rhinoceros species and were on the brink of extinction in the early 1900s when only 20-50 animals were thought to remain in their native African homeland.
Thanks to excellent and sustained protection, they are now the most common of the five rhinoceros species. Three of the five species of rhino – the black, the Javanese and the sumatrach – are critically endangered. The Sumatran rhino is now presumed extinct in the wild in Malaysia according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Prince William is royal patron of the UK-based conservation charity Tusk Trust (which Cotswold Wildlife Park supports and works closely with to protect Africa’s many endangered species). Reggie Heyworth is an ambassador for Tusk Trust and ran the 2021 London Marathon to benefit the charity. For more information about Tusk Trust, visit tusk.org .
Award-winning photographer Rory Carnegie captured stunning images of Queenie right after she was born. Guardians also filmed the young calf hesitantly taking its first steps just after mother Nancy gave birth.
Queenie isn’t the only royalty-related birth at the park. Louis, a male Bactrian camel, has just become a father for the first time. He was named after Prince Louis of Cambridge as they were both born on the same day.
Its still unnamed calves are the first camels born at the park since 2018. The wild Bactrian camel (Camelus ferus) is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN and is considered one of the most rare on earth.
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