'Little miracle' baby white rhino introduced into zoo's main enclosure

Zawadi with mother Njiri at Africa Alive in Kessingland.

Zawadi with mother Njiri at Africa Alive in Kessingland. - Credit: Alfie Bowen

A six-week-old southern white rhino calf hailed a “little miracle” has been eagerly watched by visitors at Africa Alive after it was introduced into the zoo's main enclosure. 

The female rhino was born at the Kessingland zoo on Saturday, December 18, to mother Njiri and father Zimba as part of a European Breeding Programme.

Just over a month since the calf's birth, this week it was introduced to the zoo’s Plains of Africa enclosure for the first time - under the watchful eye of mum. 

Africa Alive, run by the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), has also announced the calf’s name after a competition was launched. 

Members of the public voted for their favourite name from six names chosen by the zookeepers and the winner was Zawadi – which is Swahili for gift. 

Zawadi with mother Njiri at Africa Alive in Kessingland.

Zawadi with mother Njiri at Africa Alive in Kessingland. - Credit: Alfie Bowen

Graeme Williamson, head of living collections at Africa Alive, said: “We were overjoyed to see Zawadi exploring her enclosure for the first time, keeping close by to mother Njiri.  

“Our main enclosure is around 4.5 acres which provides the calf with lots of space for adventures.  

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“Now that Zawadi has made her debut, we will spend time introducing her to the other animals which call the enclosure home, including giraffe, zebra and ostrich.”  

ZSEA’s newest charity ambassador and critically acclaimed photographer, Alfie Bowen, recently visited the zoo to capture some images of the rhino calf.  

Mr Bowen said: "I have been visiting Africa Alive for more than 22 years and have long known of the zoo's mission to successfully breed the white rhino - it has taken time.  

“But finally, they have their little miracle, and it was an honour to spend some time with Njiri and her calf.  

“She is already full of energy and attitude and I am looking forward to following her journey to adulthood in the coming years.  

“Congratulations to the team at Africa Alive - your dream has finally turned into reality and the result is truly beautiful."  

To book tickets to see the rhino calf, visit the zoo's website.