A three-day-old male southern white rhino calf at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park nursed, rested, and curiously checked out his surroundings this morning—all under the watchful eye of his very attentive mother. The calf, yet to be named, was born in the Safari Park’s East Africa field habitat on April 2, to mother, Holly, and father, Maoto (pronounced May-O-toe).
“We are very excited Holly gave birth to a healthy calf,” stated Kim Shuler, senior keeper, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “The calf is nursing well, which is a great sign. Holly is an excellent mom and very protective of her newborn. She allows the other rhinos to approach, but gets very vocal when they venture too close to her little guy.”
While all births of healthy rhinos are significant, researchers at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research are optimistic this calf’s birth may be the result of a recent change in the southern white rhinoceros diet.