160-Pound Newborn Rhino Receiving Special Care at Safari Park | NBC 7 San Diego

160-Pound Newborn Rhino Receiving Special Care at Safari Park



    This 3-week-old great one-horn rhino is being cared for by San Diego Zoo Safari Park keepers while he gains weight and strength to rejoin his mother. (Published Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014)

    San Diego Zoo Safari Park caretakers are hand-raising a baby rhino after he wasn't gaining enough weight.

    The 3-week-old greater one-horned rhino calf weighed 160 pounds at birth. Every mother's dream, right? But for this big boy, that is actually the lower end of the 160-176 pound norm for these tough-skinned newborns. His first-time mother Kaya gave birth to the still-unnamed calf on Nov. 27, according to the San Diego Zoo.

    Kaya nursed the calf herself for two weeks, but the zoo said when her baby failed to get adequate nutrition, he was taken to the Safari Park's animal care center for hand feedings every other hour and round-the-clock observation. (What a tough job those zoo keepers have: Who wants to watch an adorable baby rhino tromp around all day?)

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    Because the rhino calf is being raised in a nursery now, exercise is an important part of building up his strength and health. After hanging with his new pals for a week, the baby boy is gaining nearly four pounds per day, weighing in at 190 pounds now.

    Yes, you read that right: a 190 pound 3-week-old.

    A fully grown greater one-horned rhino clocks in at a whopping 4,000 to 5,000 pounds. Could you imagine how much he'll eat!

    Baby No Name's relatives used to be widespread in Southeast Asia, but are only found in India and Nepal now. The International Union for Conservation of Nature calls the species endangered due to the threat of poaching and illegal use of their horns.

    It's estimated that baby rhino only has 3,250 relatives left in the world and one dies of poaching every eight hours. This little guy, though, is the 68th greater one-horned rhino to be born at the Safari Park since 1975. For that reason, they're the "foremost breeding facility in the world for this species," the zoo said.

    Baby rhino can have visitors at the animal care center nursery corral during his daily exercise time, between 12:15 and 12:45 p.m., as long as the weather permits. And seriously, who can resist? Everyone loves a new baby.