Endangered black rhino born in French zoo

La Teste-de-Buch (France) (AFP) –


A critically endangered black rhino has been born in a French zoo, authorities said on Thursday.

The male calf, which does not yet have a name, was born on December 6 at the Bassin d'Arcachon Zoo in southwestern La Teste-de-Buch.

Its mother Nabila, a six-year-old, was given to the zoo as part of a European breeding programme.

She mated with a male named Dazanty to produce the first cub from the breeding programme.

"It's an event because it's the first black rhino to be born in a French zoo," the Bassin d'Arcachon Zoo said in a statement.

The species -- formally called the Diceros bicornis -- is classified as "critically endangered" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The young calf was born weighing between 35 and 40 kilogrammes (around 80 pounds).

As it is a male, it will be expected to breed to preserve the species as the majority of black rhinos in zoos are female, the park said.

According to the zoo, the unnamed new born is the second black rhino to be born in Europe this year.