Colchester Zoo has revealed the birth of a sixth white rhino calf.

Following an announcement in February that the zoo's female calf Astrid was expecting, a healthy male was born on Wednesday, October 14 at around 9.45pm.

The new arrival was born after the zoo had closed to the public in the late evening.

The animal care team had been viewing Astrid’s behaviour out of hours on a camera system for two weeks prior to birth as they were sure the arrival of the calf was imminent.

During Wednesday evening, the animal care team noticed Astrid’s behaviour change which indicated she was in labour.

Staff came into the zoo at 9pm to monitor Astrid, so they were on hand if any problems arose.


A zoo spokesman said: "Astrid’s birth progressed really well, and luckily there was no need for intervention, as the healthy calf was born at 9.45pm.

"Keepers could identify the calf as male via the cameras.

"Within the hour of being born he managed to stand and Astrid offered him reassurance, it was not long after he was then suckling from mum."

Despite Astrid being a first-time mum at 7yrs old, Astrid took the labour and birth in her stride.

Since the birth, the bond between mother and calf is becoming stronger day by day and the young calf is already showing a mischievous character.

Astrid and her calf will initially stay inside and the team will monitor their progress before gradually allowing him to explore further.

To help raise funds for Colchester Zoo’s operating fund, there will be the opportunity for supporters to vote for their favourite name.

The name which raises the most funds will be chosen.


The spokesman added: "We will be sure to keep you up to date with his progress over the coming weeks and advise when the vote is open."

Born in 2013, mum Astrid arrived at Colchester Zoo in July 2016 and shares her home with the rest of the rhino crash, Otto, Emily, Binta and Lottie as well as our other African species in our mixed paddock.

Astrid can be spotted by a small nick in her left ear which she has had since she was young.

The news comes at a very important time, whilst Colchester Zoo has been negatively affected by the pandemic and the recent loss of lioness, Malika.

The spokesman added: "To have such lovely news gives a great boost of morale to the team and shows how important zoos are to the conservation of the animal kingdom.

"We need your help to continue this vital conservation work, you can help by visiting the zoo, becoming a zoo passholder, adopting an animal, or simply donating to the Colchester Zoo emergency operating fund via the zoo’s website at"