Zookeepers in England were thrilled to watch their resident rhino give birth to a calf, who was up and charging around within hours of accommodating herself to the world
The birth was captured in the late afternoon on the Chester Zoo’s video cameras.
The calf was born already weighing a hefty 120 pounds (50 kg) and will grow to around 1.7 tons.
15-year-old mom Asha is an endangered greater one-horned rhino, and had been pregnant for 15 months.
Heartwarming video footage shows the youngster arriving into the world before Asha turns around to tenderly nuzzle her newborn, while adorable photos show the new arrival already trying to run, sporting the same slightly wrinkled armored plating as her parents.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with Asha and her new arrival,” said Sam Harley, rhino team manager at Chester Zoo. “On the day the calf was born, we noticed that Asha was uncharacteristically lethargic and off her food, so we had a suspicion that she was soon to give birth.”
Greater one-horned rhinos were once found roaming across the entire northern part of the Indian subcontinent.
Conservationists are celebrating the birth of the endangered species, as only 4,000 of them remain in the wild. Times have been much tougher though, as only around 100 could be found back in the 1970s.
“At one point, there were less than 200 in the wild so it’s a real privilege to be able to care for this newborn,” said Harley. “Not everyone is lucky enough to see a rhino in the wild, but Asha, dad Beni, and their new calf help our two million visitors a year to connect with this magnificent species.”
Keepers have picked three names for the new calf and the public can vote for their favorite.
The final names are Thuli, which is a river in Nepal, Jiya, which is the Indian meaning for sunshine, and Bahula, which is the Indian meaning for star.
WATCH the rhino calf get used to the world.
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