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Date: 17/10/2018

It has been an exciting week for the new baby rhino at West Midland Safari Park, who has been introduced to his family, met his new neighbours and was finally named.

At just nine days old, keepers decided that the curious youngster was ready to venture out and about to meet the rest of his family and the other creatures that inhabit the African Plains section of the Safari Drive-through.

For a tiny baby rhino, navigating his way around a new habitat with unusual inhabitants must be very daunting, so appeared a bit unsure at first. But after some gentle coaxing from mum, eight-year-old Ailsa, the bouncing baby boy was soon seen charging around, coming nose-to-nose with older brother Ekozu and nuzzling watchful aunties, Trixie and Mtuba.

Much to the delight of the lucky guests who had visited on the day, they even got to witness the baby weaving his way in and out of the long legs of the giraffes, who carefully tiptoed around the boisterous calf.

Now, at almost three weeks old, keepers at the attraction have finally settled on a name. All babies born at the Park in 2018 must begin with the letter ‘G’, so after a vote the name ‘Granville’ was chosen.

Deputy Head Keeper of Ungulates, Ian Nock, said: “The keepers all gave different suggestions for names, but after a vote, the name ‘Granville’ was a clear winner, as we agreed it really suits his personality.

“Myself and the other keepers are so pleased that little Granville has now managed to meet with the rest of our rhinos and have a play with his brother and half-sister. He is already proving to be quite brave with the other animals in the reserve, but it always helps when you have a mother who weighs nearly two tonnes close behind you!

He continued: “His birth is another great example of the committed work we continue to maintain here at the Park regarding our breeding programmes.”

At the last count, just over 20,000 wild southern white rhinos remained in South Africa, with 1,028 killed in 2017. So any birth is of great importance for the conservation of this magnificent species.

The youngster is the third baby white rhino born at the Park within three years and joins his brother, Ekozu, half-sister, Fahari, and the rest of the ‘crash’, bringing the number of southern white rhinos at the Park to eight.

The ‘crash’ of rhinos can be seen on the four-mile Safari Drive-through, which is included in the standard admission charge of £24.00 for adults, £19.00 for children aged 3-15 and £22.00 for concessions. Children under the age of three years are admitted free of charge. Admission includes a Free Return Ticket. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra.

Further information and discounted tickets are available from the Park’s website www.wmsp.co.uk or by telephone 01299 402114. You can find out more on the Safari Park’s official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WestMidSafari.