Baby White Rhino Born At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

white baby-rhino

Just like you, we’re suckers for adorable baby animals, and the new baby white rhinoceros at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida, more than fits the bill. Just look at those big feet! She’s not even as big as her mama’s head!

The 100-pound (yowza!) baby was born last Wednesday, November 11, to Mlaleni and Tambo. This rhino pair’s first calf, Malaika, was born in 2004 and was the first white rhino birth in Busch Gardens’ history. The newborn female is their fourth calf and brings the park’s total black and white rhino population to a total of 12 (nine white and three black).

The baby has yet to be named, but a spokesperson for Busch Gardens tells us that this is totally normal: “Names for baby animals are traditionally chosen after they reach 30 days of age. This allows the animal care team time to see the animal’s growth and character traits.”

The calf’s birth isn’t just a big deal to the park and its visitors, but to the rhino population at large. Busch Gardens is a participant in the American Zoological and Aquarium Association Species Survival Plan to ensure genetic diversification among threatened and endangered animals in zoological facilities. The International Rhino Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of rhinos, estimates that there are just over 14,530 white rhinos in the wild, and fewer than 170 live in zoological facilities across North America.

In fact, just last year, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, which is a registered non-profit organization, donated $5,000 to Friends of Conservation, $15,000 to International Rhino Foundation, $10,000 to Rhino Fund Uganda and $10,000 to Tusk Trust to support rhino conservation efforts in the wild. Since it began in 2003, the Fund has granted five million dollars to more than 350 projects in the U.S. and around the world.

(source)

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