Watch your step mum!

Last updated at 14:14 27 July 2004

A new-born baby rhinoceros in a Berlin zoo is in plaster after his mother carelessly trod on his foot one day after his birth, zookeepers said today.

Patna, born last week to mother Betty and father Belur, will have to wear a plaster cast on his left lower leg for up to five weeks to heal a broken leg.

The incident is not the first in the zoo, which now houses seven rhinos.

"In 2002, mother Betty, also born in the zoo, killed her first child by treading on the baby shortly after birth," said zoo keeper Ingolf Kastierke.

Zoo keepers had waited in keen anticipation of Betty's second baby, the zoo's second this year.

But the morning after birth they noticed the baby was limping and called in the vet.

"We assume that the mother had trodden on her son in the middle of the night," said Kastierke.

Luckily the injury was easily treated and keepers expect a full recovery.

The baby has already put on five kilos since birth.

The zoo said only four or five rhinoceros are born in zoos in Europe per year.

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