by Photo courtesy of San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park announced it welcomed a male southern white rhino calf, born to first-time mom Livia and Father J Gregory. 

The rhino calf was born on Aug.6 at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center, and specialists report he is healthy, confident, and full of energy. Wildlife care experts say the newborn calf was conceived through natural breeding, and Livia is an excellent mother, very attentive and protective of her offspring. 

“Seeing this energetic little rhino running around, wallowing in the mud, and just being generally curious is very rewarding,” Jonnie Capriol, lead wildlife specialist at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park said in a news release. 

Caprio described Livia as a great mother. Livia had prior experience caring for an orphaned Calf named Authur who arrived at the Rhino Rescue Center in 2020. 

“Livia immediately took a keen interest in the calf, showing strong maternal instincts and being very nurturing to the youngster,” Caprio said. 

The first-time mom and her calf will remain in their private habitat as they continue to bond, and will eventually be introduced to other rhinos living at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center, officials said. 

According to the San Diego Zoo Safari park, an estimated 18,000 southern white rhinos remain in native habitats worldwide. The southern rhino is classified as a 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 horns. 

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