ASHEBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- There's a new baby at the North Carolina Zoo! For the third time in two years, zookeepers are celebrating the birth of a southern white rhino.
The female calf, who does not yet have a name, was born Sunday, Jan. 5 weighing about 100 pounds. She will likely weigh between 3,500 and 5,500 pounds when she is fully grown.
"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."
North Carolina Zoo has housed rhinos since 1976. In 2008 the zoo opened Watani Grasslands, an expansion designed specifically to cultivate a breeding rhino herd.
The southern white rhino herd in Asheboro is made up of nine rhinos: male Stormy; females Linda, Kit, Natalie, Abby and Olivia; and calves Nandi, Bonnie, and the newest addition.
According to the International Rhino Foundation, southern white rhinos are a conservation success story. The species was brought back from near extinction and is now listed as Near Threatened with its population increasing.
If you'd like to visit NC Zoo, it is open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. November - March and 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. April - October.
North Carolina Zoo celebrates birth of baby rhino