Hamilton Zoo has welcomed the arrival of a newborn baby Southern white rhinoceros.
The female calf, born last Tuesday about 11pm, is the sixth to be born at the facility and the seventh to be bred there as the zoo transported a pregnant rhino to Australia Zoo in August 2010.
The new calf is the second for mother Moesha, 18, and the fourth for father Kruger, 23, and brings the zoo's current herd population to seven.
Hamilton Zoo team leader of mammals Samantha Kudeweh, who is also coordinator for the Australasian region's white rhino breeding programme, said while the birth of the calf is exciting for the zoo, it is also significant for the species as a whole.
"Zoo populations have an important role to play in the conservation of species such as rhinos," she said.
"Rhinos bred and housed in zoos, such as this new calf, serve as ambassadors for wild populations and conservation projects, as well as provide genetically sound reserve populations in case of major decline in range states."
Southern white rhino numbers have been revived from the brink of extinction; In the early 1900s fewer than 100 remained, however the wild population increased to more than 20,000 by the end of 2010.
Unfortunately an increase in the demand for rhino horn in Asia has seen dramatic increase in poaching over the past two years.By Paul Harper @Snappy_nz Email Paul