A Southern White Rhinoceros calf’s birth was highly anticipated by fans at Burgers’ Zoo. The Rhino den was live-streamed for almost a month as keepers awaited the baby’s arrival.
Because Rhinos have such thick skin, even ultrasounds cannot accurately aid in predicting the birthdate. The male calf, named Thomas, was finally born to female Kwanzaa at about 4:00 AM on May 30.
Photo Credit: Burgers' Zoo
Thomas began walking and nursing within just a few hours of his birth, which is normal for Rhinos. The staff at Burgers’ Zoo pronounced Thomas healthy and strong based on his appetite and activity level.
Southern White Rhinos are the largest of all Rhino species, with adult males weighing two-and-a-half tons. In the wild, they inhabit open savannahs, mainly in South Africa. Though they are the most abundant of all Rhinos, they are considered Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Like all Rhino species and subspecies, Southern White Rhinos are illegally killed for their horns. The horns are ground to a fine powder for use in Traditional Asian Medicine, despite the lack of evidence that the horns provide any health benefits.
See more photos of Thomas below.