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Baby rhino makes history in Basel


Kiran, a four-day-old Indian rhinoceros, steps out in Basel Zoo on Wednesday with his mother Ellora (behind) and sister, Henna. He is the first Indian rhinoceros to be born in a European zoo in the presence of an older sibling.

Although in the wild, rhinos are often present at the birth of their brothers and sisters, European zoos usually remove them during labour to prevent them injuring or even killing their new sibling.

But experts at Basel zoo noticed how 31-year-old Ellora, who had already had seven calves, wasn’t pushing three-year-old Henna away, so they decided to risk letting her stay. This seems to have worked – Henna is already helping to look after her little brother.

Kiran, which means “sunrise” in Hindi, weighed 68kg at birth and was 100cm long and 66cm high. He is the 34th Indian rhino to be born in Basel. The species in endangered in the world, largely owing to a recent boom in poaching.

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