TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — ZooTampa is celebrating the birth of a baby southern white rhino that was born at the zoo last week.
The female calf was born to 20-year-old Alake in the overnight hours of Sunday, June 6. Both the baby and its mother are said to be doing well.
The unnamed calf is the eighth southern white rhino calf to be born at the zoo. The rhino is set to make its debut at the new Expedition Wild Africa which is set to open soon.
“These babies and the rest of our southern white rhino herd are wonderful ambassadors for their species, giving our guests the opportunity to connect with and appreciate these magnificent animals,” said Dr. Larry Killmar, chief zoological officer. “The Zoo’s efforts to save this species is yet another example of the leadership role that ZooTampa plays in conserving important species both at home and around the world.”
The southern white rhinoceros is listed as near threatened due to threats of habitot loss and illegal poaching. There were about 50 to 200 of them at the start of the 20th century, but following a century of conservation efforts, the population rebounded to about 20,400 animals.