No matter how brutish or strange an animal may look in its full-grown form, it’s hard to think of a creature that isn’t downright adorable as a baby. There’s no better example of this in recent memory than baby Fiona, the charming little hippo from the Cincinnati zoo that warmed our hearts way back in 2017.
Now, central Ohio’s own Wilds Safari Park has welcomed a new animal youngster that just might be a contender for 2019’s “it child.”
A female greater one-horned rhinoceros calf was born at The Wilds’ conservation center on Saturday, August 24, 2019, making her the eighth greater one-horned rhino to be born at there. The birth is a significant achievement as the species nearly went extinct during the 20th century.
The calf and mom, Sanya, are doing well and have been bonding in the pasture on The Wilds property. An experienced mother, Sanya has required no help from The Wilds’ Animal Management team. Both mother and child appear to be strong and healthy.
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Calves usually weigh more than 100 pounds at birth and gain a few pounds every day. An adult greater one-horned rhino can reach weights of approximately 4,000 to 6,000 pounds.
“We are thrilled to welcome this little rhinoceros into our Wilds family! Every rhinoceros is important to the survival of their species. While there has been some success in rhinoceros conservation recently, unfortunately, there are still threats to all rhino species. They are being poached for their horn, even though it is made only of keratin— the equivalent of fingernails—and they are facing habitat destruction in their native ranges. We are proud to be able to contribute to rhino conservation by welcoming this incredible new arrival, as the calf represents hope for future generations of greater one-horned rhinos,” Dr. Jan Ramer, vice president of The Wilds, said via a prepared statement.
The new calf may be visible to guests during either an Open-Air Safari or Wildside Tour. The Wilds is currently open daily through September, but will move to weekends only in October.
For more information about The Wilds or to book your visit, please visit TheWilds.org.