NC Zoo Welcomes Baby White Rhino

Baby White Rino born at North Carolina Zoo

July 12, 2018

NC Zoo Welcomes New Addition to Rhino Herd

Back in 2008, the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro launched an ambitious expansion of its 40-acre Watani Grasslands Reserve. The open, rolling exhibit copied the African grasslands, and was designed specifically for a breeding rhino herd, which now numbers eight animals. It appears the facility is a success. A female southern white rhino, part of a species once hunted to near-extinction, was born at the zoo on July 2. The parents are Linda and Stormy, two other rhinos that are part of the Zoo’s herd.

The 80- to 90-pound female calf was t born at the zoo in 41 years. Zoo officials say the little one, well, not so little one, is healthy and nursing. The rhino is expected to gain about 100 pounds every month in her first year and eventually weight about 3,500 to 5,500 pounds as an adult. The baby rhino does not have a name yet. The Zoo is planning a naming contest that will be announced on its website.

Protecting White Rhinos From Extinction

Zoo staff is involved in several projects to protect white rhinos in southern Africa. "Every birth at the North Carolina Zoo is special and this one particularly so,” said Pat Simmons, the zoo's executive director. “Each new rhino born said is a success story for this species as a whole. The zoo is committed to being part of conservation initiatives both within the zoo community and internationally in order to ensure the survival of this species.”

The North Carolina Zoo has had rhinos since 1976 and is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to keep a sustainable population of southern white rhinos under human care. It’s also involved in global conservation efforts to save this species.

 —Frank Graff 

Frank Graff is a producer/reporter with UNC-TV, focusing on Sci Tech Now North Carolina, a weekly science series that airs Tuesdays on UNC-TV. In addition to producing these special segments, Frank will provide additional information related to his stories through this North Carolina Science Now Reporter's Blog!