San Diego Zoo Safari Park raises greater one horned rhino calf

Staff at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are hand-raising a male greater one horned rhino calf. The calf is now three weeks old and was born in the Safari Park’s Asian Plains habitat on November 27. His mother Kaya has never had a calf before.

The unnamed male calf was as small as a baby rhino can get weighing in at 160 pounds (72kg). The average greater one horned rhino calf weighs between 160lb (72kg) and 176lb (80kg).

He spent the first two weeks of his life with Kaya who cared for him and he did nurse. Unfortunately he didn’t gain as much weight as he should have been leading keepers to move him to the animal care centre. Here is watched round the clock and bottle-fed every two hours.

greater one horned rhino

Each day the calf has an exercise session between 12:15 and 12:45pm where visitors can meet him. This is important as he is being raised in a nursery setting meaning he doesn’t get to move around as much as he would in a paddock.

The calf is gaining weight and growing each day. Currently he is putting on about four pounds (1.8kg) a day meaning it is a long road to reach his expected adult weight of between 4,000 (1814kg) and 5,000 pounds (2267kg)

Greater one horned rhinos have thrived at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park with this being the 68th calf born there since 1975. This means San Diego is the foremost breeding facility in the world for this species.

Unfortunately they are not going so well in the wild of Southeast Asia where they were once widespread. Now only 3,250 remain in India and Nepal the last places where they are holding on.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists this species as endangered. They have come under threat due to poaching so their horn can be used for items such as medicine.

Tell us in the comments below what you think a good name for the calf would be.

Photo Credits: Ken Bohn/ San Diego Zoo Safari Park

By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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