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San Diego Zoo celebrates birth of southern white rhino calf
Birth demonstrates the calf's mother is able to serve as a potential surrogate mother to other rhinos, including critically endangered ones
The San Diego Zoo announced a male southern white rhino calf was born on August 6, 2022 to first-time mother, Livia, and father, J Gregory. The calf is currently not named, but is healthy, confident, and exuberant while Livia seems to be a great mother to her offspring.
According to an organizational release,1 the birth was noteworthy because it will help advance San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s Northern White Rhino Initiative as Livia displayed she can carry a calf to term and care for the baby. Though Livia is a southern white rhino, she is now among the female rhinos at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center who could possibly be a surrogate mother to a northern white embryo down the road.
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s Northern White Rhino Initiative is devoted to saving the northern white rhino with innovative reproductive technologies, including artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer.1 An interdisciplinary team at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center are working with southern white rhinos as a paradigm for creating these advanced reproductive technologies, ultimately aiming to develop a sustainable population of northern white rhinos using banked genetic material from the Frozen Zoo, a key component of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Biodiversity Banking efforts.
Currently, there are only 2 northern white rhinos left on earth, living at a wildlife conservancy in Kenya, according to the release. They are both female and incapable of reproducing naturally. The efforts being made to conserve the northern white rhino may also be applicable to other rhino species that are endangered.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park welcomes birth of southern white rhino calf at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center. News release. San Diego Zoo. August 22, 2022. Accessed August 24, 2022. https://sandiegozoowildlifealliance.org/pr/SafariParkWelcomesSouthernWhiteRhinoCalf