The Eastern black rhinoceros is a critically-endangered sub-species of the black rhinoceros, and while their population numbers aren’t faring so well in the wild, Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic has witnessed the birth of a healthy young calf.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Petr David Josek
A female Eastern black rhinoceros by the name of Etosha gave birth to the calf on October 2nd, and while it hasn’t been given an official name just yet, the zoo staff are already falling in love with it.
Jan Zdarek, the zookeeper at Dvur Kralove Zoo, says the newborn is in good health currently and that the zoo doesn’t expect any health complications to come over it.
The video below shows the calf running around and playing with pumpkin scraps (just in time for Halloween):
As the video shows, the calf is both energetic and spunky, and it's so small that it hasn't even developed a facial horn yet.
The current plan is to keep the calf close to its mother for a few years so that she can raise it. Once it becomes big and strong enough to fend for itself, it might get sent to join some other Eastern black rhinoceroses in the African wilderness – their natural habitat.
Eastern black rhinoceroses are in the critically-endangered state because animal poachers exploited the horns on their noises for many decades. They carry a substantial cash value throughout Asia, where they’re thought to possess medicinal qualities capable of curing common ailments.
Unfortunately, the prolonged years of animal poaching drove the species’ population numbers so low that animal conservationists aren’t sure if they will ever recover from the damages.
As gloomy as things seem, this calf’s introduction to our world is a step in the right direction, and its cute, stumpy stature is enough to put a smile on any animal lover’s face.
Source: ABC News