ASHEBORO, N.C. - The North Carolina Zoo Thursday was excited to announce the birth of a third southern white rhino in just under two years.
The calf, a girl, was born on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 to mother Kit and father Stormy. The calf weighed approximately 100 pounds and will be named at a later time, zoo officials said.
“This is a great moment and testament to the dedication of our Zoo staff,” Zoo Director Pat Simmons said. “These successful births are because of a lot of hard work and collaboration among our entire animal care staff.”
The Zoo’s 40-acre Watani Grasslands expansion – completed in 2008 – was created specifically for a breeding rhino herd, making these multiple births a dream come true for staff.
“Grassland keepers are thrilled at yet another addition to our herd!” Tuttle said. “It’s a great gift to usher in the New Year and the new decade here at the North Carolina Zoo!"
Zookeepers report the new calf is healthy and nursing. They expect her to gain 100 pounds a month in the first year. She could weigh 3,500 to 5,500 pounds when fully grown.
She is now part of a nine-rhino family, including Stormy, the patriarch, as well as females Linda, Kit, Natalie, Abby, and Olivia. She also has a sister, Bonnie, and a half-sister, Nandi, who shares a father with the other two.
“Congratulations to the North Carolina Zoo on the successful birth of a third Southern white rhino in just two years,” said Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources. “I’m proud of the Zoo’s continuing commitment to saving this and other threatened species at home and around the world.”