SAN DIEGO — On Monday, representatives with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park announced the newest member of the park family: a male southern white rhino calf.
The rhino calf was born on Aug. 6 to first-time mom Livia and father J Gregory at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance stated in a release.
“We are so pleased Livia and her calf are doing so well,” said Jonnie Capiro, lead wildlife care specialist, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. ”Seeing this energetic little rhino running around, wallowing in the mud and just being generally curious is very rewarding.”
Capiro says they expect Livia to be a “great mother” to the newborn, as she has had prior experience caring for an orphaned calf named Arthur.
According to wildlife officials, the team at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center aims to work with southern white rhinos in establishing a sustainable population of northern white rhinos using banked genetic material from the Frozen Zoo, a critical component of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Biodiversity Banking efforts.
“The southern white rhino is classified as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, due to poaching threats and illegal trafficking of rhino horn,” the wildlife alliance said.
The newborn rhino calf, which will live with Livia in their private habitat for a period of time to bond, is reported as “healthy, confident and full of energy,” the animal organization said.
For more information on the San Diego Wildlife Alliance, click here.