Lifestyle Pets Baby Rhino Born at San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Time to Celebrate World Rhino Day First-time mom Kianga the southern white rhino gave birth to a female calf at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park a few weeks ahead of September 22nd's World Rhino Day By Kelli Bender Published on September 2, 2021 03:54 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA) has another reason to be excited for September 22nd's World Rhino Day. According to a release from the nonprofit, SDZWA's San Diego Safari Park recently welcomed a female southern white rhino calf. First-time mom Kianga gave birth to the baby rhino at the park on August 22. "We are delighted to welcome this calf to the Safari Park's crash of southern white rhinos," Lisa Peterson, an executive director at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, said in a statement. "Babies are always delightful — cute and fun to watch grow — but more importantly, they serve as ambassadors for their species. Seeing a rhino up close allows our guests to connect with them, with the hope they gain a greater appreciation for them, and the vitally important need to conserve and protect rhinos and their native habitats." Born weighing around 125 pounds, the unnamed rhino calf has been growing at a healthy rate and is expected to gain about 100 pounds a month for the first year. She enjoys running around her 60-acre African Savanna habitat at the park and has started getting curious about the other animals she shares the space with. Dallas Zoo Announces First Tiger Cub Birth in 70 Years: 'Incredibly Thankful' Mom is keeping a protective eye on her daughter and is nursing well. Kianga's calf is the 104th southern white rhino calf born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park since 1972. Each rhino's birth at the park is a cause for celebration for the SDZWA because it helps with the conservation of all southern white rhino by keeping the species genetically diverse. "There are an estimated 18,000 southern white rhinos remaining in Africa. The southern white rhino is classified as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, due to poaching threats and illegal trafficking of rhino horn," the SDZWA shared in their release. "San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has been working for more than 40 years, along with other accredited zoos, to keep a sustainable population of rhinos safe under human care while working to protect them in sanctuaries in their native habitats." RELATED VIDEO: Rhino Calves Explore San Diego Zoo Habitat During World Rhino Day Along with their work at the safari park, SDZWA supports the conservation of rhinos through funding anti-poaching efforts and raising awareness about wildlife trafficking and other factors that affect the longevity of wild rhinos. The SDZWA hopes that animal lovers take a moment on World Rhino Day on September 22nd to learn more about these creatures and how we can all help protect these animals from harm.