Rare black rhino baby makes NSW zoo debut

·1-min read

A rare baby rhino has made her first appearance in front of excited onlookers at a western NSW zoo.

The seven-week-old black rhino calf named Sabi Star appeared on Wednesday alongside mum Bakhita at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

Already weighing in at more than 111 kilograms, Sabi Star has just begun trying to eat solid foods and has started mimicking her mum's feeding on branches.

Her public debut is another exciting step, says keeper Hayley Brooks.

"Sabi Star has been very alert on the exhibit paddock and seemed to notice unfamiliar faces, sounds and people when she first went out," she said.

"She listened and watched intently but took comfort and direction from her experienced mum."

Sabi Star is the latest calf in the conservation breeding program run by the zoo, which also funds conservation efforts for wild rhinos in Africa, Indonesia and India.

Black rhinos are critically endangered, with less than 6000 estimated to remain in the wild.