Since the end of 2015, the Phú Quốc Vinpearl Safari Animal Care and Conservation Park (Vinpearl Safari) has officially operated with a scale of 380 ha. Vinpearl Safari now has more than 3,000 individuals, of 150 species, collected and preserved from precious and rare local wildlife, and gathered from many typical biogeographic regions in the world such as South Africa and Europe, Australia, America,… Recently, the introduction of the first baby rhino at Vinpearl Safari on April 3, 2019 proved that this place is not only an ideal environment for conservation, but also helps precious, rare and endangered wildlife species of Việt Nam and the world flourish and develop.
Two hours after birth, the baby rhino can stand up and look for breast milk
Welcome the first baby rhino
The newborn rhino is the first baby of a pair of African white rhino parents. Rhino parents were brought to Vinpearl Safari at the same time and quickly coupled, bred and reproduced completely at Safari zoo. During pregnancy for more than 16 months, the mother rhino and other rhinos in the herd live in harmony, under the care of the zoo staff. The diet and sleep of the mother rhino are always closely monitored to ensure adequate nutrition and mental stability for the both mother and baby rhinos. In addition to the main food of fresh grass, the rhinos are provided with other foods such as: dry grass, corn, sweet potato leaves, bran, carrot, sweet potato and regularly supplemented with vitamins, mineral salts...
According to the zoo staff, this “playful” individual was quickly born after only 30 minutes of the mother rhino showing labor. This was an extremely favorable process of giving birth because commonly, the rhino's process of giving birth will last several hours. Although the mother rhino’s process of giving birth was extremely smooth, the care workers and Vinpearl Safari doctors were very anxious to monitor the process of the mother and baby rhinos recovering after birth. When the baby rhino can stand up, walk and get breast milk independently, the delivery seems to be 80% successful. The reason is that the mother rhino after giving birth is very aggressive, people are almost inaccessible to support, so the fact that the baby rhino can get breastfed for 2 hours after birth is the most exciting progress.
After waiting for breathless moments, the zoo staff finally broke out in joy as the baby rhino staggered to stand up to find the mother’s breast milk. It only took a few dozen minutes to practice breathing the new atmosphere, the baby rhino was quickly "getting used to" and being fed by the mother. The newly born rhino member has an impressive black skin color, while both parents have white gray skin. It is known that, through the growth process of 2 - 3 years, rhino skin color will fade and return to the "hereditary" appearance of the herd.
“Natural house” of wildlife species
The African white rhino, which has just given birth at Vinpearl Safari, has relatively easy reproductive conditions in natural living conditions. Each adult female rhino has a gestation period of 16 - 18 months and reproduces at a density of 3 - 4 years/litter. At the zoo, the rate of rhino giving birth is not high, due to the probability of pairing and habitat conditions that do not meet the living habits of the whole herd.
In Việt Nam, although there have been many zoos raising those white rhinos for decades, Vinpearl Safari is a rare zoo with a successful natural birth of the African white rhino. This is one of the two baby rhinos born in Việt Nam in about a decade. In this Vinpearl Safari park, there are more than 20 rhinos, having met the pairing and living conditions in 16 ha of natural forest, with animal welfare conditions rated as the best in the region and approach to world standards. Currently, in addition to the mother rhino giving birth, Vinpearl Safari also has a number of other individuals who are pregnant and are expected to give birth in 2019.
Over the past 3 years, Vinpearl Safari has become a location to be named in the "birth certificates" for hundreds of F1 generations of animals, especially endangered, precious and rare species, with caring staff and zoo doctors with more than 10 years of experiences of caring for wildlife. The experts also regularly study wildlife conservation models and are sent to many countries to learn and improve their professional skills.
Since 2018, Vinpearl Safari has welcomed 367 "young members" of wildlife species, including many endangered, precious and rare species. The newly born rhino individual is the 367th smallest member in Vinpearl Safari house. Many endangered and threatened animals in the natural environment have flourished into herds here, typically: Belgian tigers, African lions, Bongo antelopes, Arabian oryx, Scimitar-horned oryx, Blackbucks, giant sable antelopes, Indochinese silvered langurs, yellow-cheeked gibbons and ring-tailed lemurs….
Currently, Vinpearl Safari is a member of the South East Asian Zoos Association (SEAZA), Vietnam Zoo Association (VZA) and International Species Information System, to ensure that the animals in the populations get the best welfare. Each year, with welcoming hundreds of new members, Vinpearl Safari affirms its leading role and gradually becomes a model for animal care, conservation and growth for many endangered and precious and rare animals. Vinpearl Safari has proven that Việt Nam is fully capable of creating a wild habitat and becoming a "natural house" for many rare and precious animals in the world.
Nguyễn Thị Phú Hà
WWF in Viet Nam
(This article was puplished on the Environment Magazine, Enghish I/2019)