Taronga Western Plains Zoo is leading the way for Rhino Conservation

Wild African Rhino Mother and Baby Grazing On Lake ShoreTaronga Western Plains Zoo is leading the way for Rhino Conservation and last week heralded the announcement of the name for its latest Southern Black Rhino calf. Referring to it’s October birth, the calf this week was named Pampoen which is an African word for Pumpkin.

Keeper Nerida Taylor said of the rhino, “At three months of age, weighs approximately 120 kilograms and is already showing a big, playful personality.” Since his birth, Pampoen has been bonding with his mother Bakhita behind the scenes and will make his entrance into the public space this month.

This celebration was led by Kevin Pietersen, Optus Ambassador and Big Bash League Melbourne Stars batsman. The Rhino advocate spent the day witnessing conservation firsthand and publicising his farewell “Rhino Match” in the Big Bash League for the Melbourne Stars at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 27 January 2018 that will raise money for The Australian Rhino Project.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo Director Steve Hinks said, “We are so proud to share Taronga’s rhino conservation work, undertaken both here in Dubbo and in the wild, with a fellow rhino advocate. We admire Kevin’s efforts to raise awareness and funds for the conservation of rhino species.”

The zoo is a leader in conservation for the Southern Black Rhino, a species native to Africa that is dwindling in the wild. The breeding program has bred 11 black rhinos in 23 years of the program working with the International Rhino Foundation. They are up to their third generation of rhino in the zoo and are continuing with the goal of providing a safe haven for the species. Additionally, Taronga Western Plain Zoo runs breeding programs for 10 other endangered species as part of their conservation programs.