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WATCH: Baby rhino Granville meets friendly giraffes on first day out

By Simon Penfold | Bewdley | Attractions | Published:

It's been a big week for a new baby rhino at West Midland Safari Park, who's been introduced to his family, met his new neighbours and finally been named.

Newly-named Granville with mum Ailsa and aunties Trixie and Mtuba

Now, at almost three weeks old, keepers at the attraction have settled on the name Granville – with all babies born at the park in 2018 being given names beginning with G.

WATCH: Granville meets park giraffes

Baby rhino 'Granville' meets family at West Midland Safari Park

Deputy head keeper of ungulates, Ian Nock, said: “The keepers all gave different suggestions for names, but after a vote, the name ‘Granville’ was a clear winner, as we agreed it really suits his personality.

“Myself and the other keepers are so pleased that little Granville has now managed to meet with the rest of our rhinos and have a play with his brother and half-sister.

"He is already proving to be quite brave with the other animals in the reserve, but it always helps when you have a mother who weighs nearly two tonnes close behind you.”

Granville navigates his way between the legs of his new neighbours

At just nine days old, keepers decided that the curious calf was ready to venture out and about to meet the rest of his family and the other creatures in the African Plains section of the Safari Drive-through.

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The tiny rhino at first appeared slightly unsure about navigating his way around a new habitat with unusual inhabitants.

But after some gentle coaxing from mum, eight-year-old Ailsa, the bouncing baby boy was soon charging around, coming nose-to-nose with older brother Ekozu and nuzzling watchful aunties, Trixie and Mtuba.

Granville's mum is eight-year-old Ailsa, who weighs a whopping two tonnes

To their delight, some lucky visitors even got to witness the baby weaving his way in and out of the long legs of the giraffes, who carefully tiptoed around the boisterous calf.

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Mr Nock added: “His birth is another great example of the committed work we continue to maintain here at the Park regarding our breeding programmes.”

At the last count, just over 20,000 wild southern white rhinos remained in South Africa, with 1,028 killed in 2017.

Therefore any birth is of great importance for their conservation.

The youngster is the third baby white rhino born at the park within three years and joins his brother, Ekozu, half-sister, Fahari, and the rest of the ‘crash’, bringing the number of southern white rhinos at the park to eight.

The ‘crash’ of rhinos can be seen at the park's four-mile Safari Drive-through.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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