Prince William's Surprise Baby Joy! The Royal Is 'Delighted' After Endangered Rhino He Protected Gives Birth in Africa
The royal had a memorable exchange with the endangered rhino in 2012 before it was flown to Africa
Prince William is expressing his baby joy – over the birth of an adorable rhino.
Grumeti, a female rhino the prince championed in the U.K., has given birth to a calf in Africa.
William was pictured feeding Grumeti at a wildlife park in Kent, England, in 2012, before she was flown to Tanzania on a specially-adapted Boeing 747.
Now, she has given birth to a calf in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Grumeti was captive-bred by the Aspinall Foundation at Port Lympne in 2007 and was one of three eastern black rhino flown out to join the population in a protected reserve in Tanzania. Captive-born rhinos are said to breed less-successfully than native counterparts, but she has mated with a fellow captive-born rhino and, following a 15-month gestation, the female calf, named Mobo, was born weighing 79lbs in mid-April, the foundation says.
Mobo is the first eastern black rhino born in its natural habitat to a mother born and raised in Britain.
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Grumeti’s return to Africa was part of The Aspinall Foundation s Back to the Wild program, which aims to help restock ancestral homelands of wild animals.
William, who has campaigned to raise the plight of rhinos and elephants which are preyed on by poachers hunting their valuable ivory in Africa, is “delighted with the news and that the program is going well,” a spokesman for him at Kensington Palace tells PEOPLE. He was told the good news last week.
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Mobo will live with her mother between two and five years. It is estimated that just 740 black eastern rhinos remain in the wild.
“Mobo s birth illustrates perfectly our passionate belief in the true role of modern conservation as being committed to the survival of threatened species in their natural territories. We believe this is preferable, wherever possible, to simply keeping them caged in an existence which does little for prospects of long term survival, Damian Aspinall, chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, said in a statement.