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There’s a new rhino in town.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park welcomed a male white southern rhino earlier this month.
The calf, which remains unnamed as of now, was born on August 6, 2022, from first-time mother Livia.
“Wildlife care specialists report the calf is healthy, confident and full of energy, and that Livia is an excellent mother, very attentive and protective of her offspring,” the park said in a media statement.
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s Northern White Rhino Initiative has a goal of saving northern white rhinos while helping to continue the growth of the species — including through artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfers.
With only two northern white rhinos on earth, the initiative works with southern white rhinos as a development growth model.
The two northern white rhinos reside in Kenya — and are unable to reproduce naturally, according to the San Diego Wildlife Alliance.
Dr. Barbara Durrant, director of reproductive sciences at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, said in a media statement that this birth provides huge potential for northern white rhinos.
“All rhino births are significant, and this calf’s birth represents an essential step in San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s Northern White Rhino Initiative,” she said.
Dr. Durrant said further in the statement that this means Livia is now among the female rhinos who can potentially serve as surrogate mothers to northern white embryos.
Livia and the new calf will stay in a private habitat to grow their bond before the calf is introduced to other rhinos in the zoo, the organization said.