Aquila Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape welcomed a new addition to their game reserve, just in time for Christmas. Picture: Thaya Bedford.

Aquila Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape welcomed a new addition to their game reserve, just in time for Christmas. A new rhino calf, who was born on Sunday, December 17, was spotted with two adult rhinos. 

The family portrait was shot by Thaya Bedford. If lucky enough, visitors will be able to see the newborn, whose gender is unknown at this stage.

Female white rhinos are pregnant for approximately 16 months and give birth to only one calf. The calves are weaned at around two years of age and will stay with their mother until they are about three years old. 

The mother of a calf is not likely to mate with a male until her calf has left her to pursue its own life of independence. The surprise newborn is the second calf to the rhino, who gave birth to her first calf on 16 December 2015. Her first calf, a healthy female, was still walking with her right up until Sundays surprise birth and for the hours preceding the arrival of her new sibling.

Owner Searl Derman said it has been a remarkable few years for the rhino population at Aquila. 

He said, “Constantly under the watchful eye of the sophisticated and experienced Anti-Poaching Unit, the increasingly thriving and growing rhino population is something that Aquila is proud of, as it forms a major part of the conservation initiatives ensuring the strengthening of the gene pool and ultimately the survival of the species.”