Country's first Ireland-born Indian rhino officially named

Country's first Ireland-born Indian rhino officially named

THE ONLY Indian rhino ever to be born in Ireland has been named by Fota Wildlife Park following a competition to name the animal.

The ten-week-old Indian rhino calf, born at the park in Cork is to be called 'Jai', meaning 'victory' or 'triumph'.

The competition to name the rhino receive over 1,000 submissions.

Listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with 3,300 living in the wild, Jai was born on 19 September after a gestation peirod of 16 months, to mother Maya and father, Jamil.

Jai, who weighed 60kg at birth now weighs over 165kg, and he is one of only six rhino births in zoological institutions this year.

Lead Ranger, Aidan Rafferty said:

“We are absolutely delighted to see how Jai is thriving. Currently he’s feeding from his mother Maya but he’s also starting to pick at some grass and hay. A healthy rhino calf will put on about one to two kilos a day in weight at this stage of their lives.

He’s a very lively and inquisitive calf. Visitors can usually get on opportunity to see him in the afternoons when he’s outside in his paddock with his mother, generally running about and playing!”

“There has been a great reaction from the public and visitors to news of his birth, and we received nearly one thousand name suggestions over the last few weeks. After much consideration we settled on Jai. The name really suits him, and he really is a triumph and victory for breeding success here at Fota, for the species conservation work we do and raising awareness about the loss of biodiversity worldwide.”

The name Jai was suggested by Cliodhna Kellegher from County Leitrim, who wins a year-long Conservation Pass to Fota Wildlife Park.

There are now four Indian rhino at Fota Wildlife Park, Maya, Jamil, Jai, and a non-breeding male, Shusto.  Rhinoceroses are the largest land mammals after the elephant and are made up of five species, two African and three Asian. The Indian rhino is the largest rhino species and is also known as the greater one-horned rhino.