Southern white rhino calf born at ZooTampa

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Courtesy: ZooTampa at Lowry Park

A southern white rhino calf at a Tampa zoo is the latest addition to a nearly threatened species.

ZooTampa of Lowry Park announced the birth of the calf on Thursday. The young rhino was born on September 12. The southern white rhino will need to bond with its mom, Alake, before being introduced to the rest of the herd. 

The zoo takes part in the Southern White Rhino Species Survival Plan. The majority of the species live in four African countries: Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Zoo officials said the rhinos have been killed in record numbers by poaches due to the high demand for keratin, which is a protein found in its horn, believed to have medicinal properties. 

The northern white rhino, a relative to the southern white rhino, has been considered extinct, with the exception of two remaining in professional care.

Zoo guests could get a glimpse of the baby rhino calf on the safari tram ride, which is included in the daily admission. For a closer look, guests and tack on a white rhino encounter deal for $10.