It was a Christmas Eve miracle! A white rhinoceros was born at the Toronto Zoo, the first of its kind in 26 years.
A press statement released by the Toronto Zoo said that “both mom and baby are doing very well, with reports that this first-time mom is very restful, calm and protective. The calf is notably big and strong, weighing in at 62.3 kg. He has been nursing more than would be expected, and apparently has very hairy ears.”
The white rhinoceros is listed as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, with only 19,682-21,077 left in the world. The species is nearly threatened because of an increase in poaching for their horns, which can be sold on the black market for a hefty price. Their survival depends almost entirely on state protection.
The gestation period for a rhino is 425-496 days (poor mom!). The mom rhinoceros, named Zohari, was moved from the outdoor rhino habitat into an indoor area in November.
The Toronto Zoo is part of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plain, which helps maintain healthy rhinos and works towards conservation efforts worldwide. The last white rhino to be born at the Toronto Zoo was a male named “Atu”, and was born in 1990.
The next 30 days are critical for the mom and unnamed baby, which means they won’t be visible to the public. You can; however, check out these adorable videos provided by the Toronto Zoo!
What do you think the calf should be named? Let us know in the comments below!