Black rhino born at San Diego zoo adds weight to critically endangered species

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is proving itself a real rhino maker. The facility announced the birth of its 15th black rhinoceros, a critically endangered species. There are perhaps 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild.

“Poaching is the main reason why the numbers of black rhinos are on the decline,” Julie Anderson, a keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, said in a statement. “Any birth here at the Park is an important birth, and we have been very fortunate to have a newborn baby here at the Safari Park.”

The newest calf, a male, was born July 12 and now weighs 100 pounds. The still unnamed calf explored his home this week, staying close to his mother, Lembe. He’s still getting comfortable trotting, sometimes stumbling over his footing, to keep up with his protective mother, the zoo said.

“Lembe runs around her exhibit with her tail pointed up, a cue that lets her calf know that she is on alert and watching over him,” the zoo said.

This is the fifth calf born to Lembe and father, Jambia, at the zoo. Visitors can see them at the Safari Park’s Africa tram tour.

Efforts are also being made to bolster rhino numbers in the wild. Watch this amazing video by the WWF as officials use a helicopter to relocate black rhinos to a new, hopefully safer, home.

Photo San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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