The King and The Queen Consort unveil the name of Colchester Zoo’s Southern white rhino calf during visit to city

The King and The Queen Consort have been celebrating Colchester’s recently awarded city status today with local organisations which represent the city’s rich heritage and communities.

Colchester Zoo was honoured to have attended a reception at Colchester Castle to showcase the vital conservation work which they support and participate in both in the UK and worldwide, including their private nature reserve, UmPhafa, in South Africa. Their Majesties heard from Zoo representatives about the successful white rhino breeding programmes.

This was also the perfect opportunity for the Zoo to celebrate a special moment in their 60th anniversary year, with Their Majesties revealing the name of their newest Rhino calf, Dara.

2023 marks Colchester Zoo’s 60th anniversary and the year began with the announcement of the birth of a healthy female Southern White rhino calf born on 13th January 2023. Since the birth the rhino has been thriving with devoted mum, Astrid.

The King and The Queen Consort unveiled a photo of the Rhino calf with a special message which read:
Welcome to the World Dara’.

Dara means beautiful in Swahili so seemed a perfectly fitting name! The town crier then announced the new name to the crowds gathered outside the Castle.

Before the name unveiling, The King and The Queen Consort met representatives of Colchester Zoo to discuss a variety of conservation projects as well as educational, research and breeding programmes that the Zoo are proud to be involved with.

Animal Care Team Leader, Jo Burch, shared her knowledge and passion for the rhinos she cares for at Colchester Zoo with Their Majesties, including that baby Dara enjoys a tickle and scratch behind the leg!

Since the birth of this bundle of joy, the youngster has come on leaps and bounds – literally! Mum, Astrid, has to keep up with her little one as she runs around everywhere and is just like an excitable puppy.”

Jo Burch

Before naming new additions to the Zoo, the Animal Care Team like to allow some time to familiarise themselves with their new charge and give them a name that has a unique meaning to the individual. Now at almost 2 months old, the Animal Care Team have got to know the young calf and in one word they would describe her as ‘beautiful’.

As a parting gift and to commemorate meeting Their Majesties, Colchester Zoo presented them with an engraved camera trap that could be used on Royal Estates to monitor wildlife, along with a Rhino cuddly toy.

Colchester Zoo were delighted to have been invited to this momentous occasion and pleased to have been able to celebrate the City Status in conjunction with their very own 60th anniversary.

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