SAN DIEGO – A southern white rhino born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park eight days ago is busy exploring his home, zoo officials said Tuesday.
“Kayode,” which means “he brings joy” in the Yoruba language of West Africa, entered the world Feb. 25 and weighed around 125 pounds at birth.
Animal care staff said he is healthy, developing normally, and should gain about 100 pounds per month for the first year. His adult weight will be between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds, according to the park.
He’s the 93rd southern white rhino born at the park and the sixth member of the park’s third generation of the species.
“Kayode is a little tank, a very cute little tank, and he is showing lots of personality,” said Jane Kennedy, lead keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “He loves running and interacting with his mom, sticking out his tongue, and showing the buffalo in his enclosure he’s a rhino and he’s in charge.”
Park staff said he’s been exploring the 55-acre East African Plains enclosure but stays close to his mother while doing so.
Southern white rhinos, which are the largest in the rhino family, are indigenous to Southern and Central Africa and are considered near-threatened, the Safari Park said.
Park officials estimated that 20,000 southern white rhinos remain in the wild. Rhino horns are valued by poachers.