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Hamilton baby rhino gets a name

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/08/2016

A baby rhino at Hamilton Zoo has only just been given a name - but some of his art is already going under the hammer.

The zoo has announced its newest male calf - born in June following a 16-month pregnancy - has been named Samburu.

He's the sixth white rhino in Hamilton, along with mother Kito, dad Kruger and three other females - and the seventh to be born there.

The zoo's acting curator Catherine Nichols says the name was picked to reflect the natural environment of white rhinos.

"The Samburu people are pastoralists who live in the Rift Valley province of Northern Kenya, part of the natural range of the white rhino," she said.

To celebrate the calf's naming, the zoo has decided to put some of his art up for auction, along with a chance to be the first member of the public to meet the newcomer himself.

It says all the money from the Trade Me auction - which will offer footprint artwork from Samburu and his mum, and a opportunity to get up and close with the pair - will go to the zoo's conservation fund.

Up to now, he's been considered too young to take part in encounters.

About 20,000 southern white rhino remain in protected areas and private reserves, although poachers still continue to hunt them for their horns.

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