VIDEO: A tiny miracle is born at Whipsnade Zoo

A CHRISTMAS miracle has arrived early at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, with the birth of an Asian rhino.

The tiny calf has been named Karamat – which means miracle in its native language of Nepalese, after keepers hand-reared the baby to save her life.

Karamat was born breeched to mum Beluki and as a result was traumatised and unable to suckle properly.

Despite attempts by keepers and vets to entice the calf to latch on, things were looking bleak when after 24 hours she still had not taken any of her mother’s milk. Staff camped out in sleeping bags in the next door hay barn and took the rare step of bottle feeding the youngster, containing the vital colostrum she needed to keep her alive.

Finally, after three long days and two overnight vigils the calf responded to their efforts and started feeding herself from Beluki.

Veronica Watkins, deputy team leader, said: “Apart from being very weak and in shock, the calf was also hypothermic. It really was touch and go for a while.

“And although it’s been a very stressful, worry-filled few days, it was great to be part of such a dedicated team.”

Visitors can see the lively calf at the Rhinos of Nepal exhibit.