A tiny new white rhinoceros has been born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, boosting efforts to save the endangered species!
After a 16-month pregnancy, the male calf weighing approximately 150 pounds was born to mom Kendi, who was the first rhino born at the park back in 1999. This birth marks the 11th white rhino calf born at Walt Disney World.
Normally, a rhino calf can weigh up to 140 pounds at birth, and as expected, this new yet-to-be-named baby was nursing, standing, and walking around within the first hour of being born. The mom and son will spend the next several weeks bonding backstage before joining the rest of the herd on the park’s savanna. Guests riding aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris will then be able to see the calf in his habitat.
Kendi was paired with dad Dugan through one of the Species Survival Plans, which are overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to ensure the responsible breeding of endangered species. White rhinos are endangered with a near-threatened status. You can see some of the adventures and challenges in pairing in an upcoming episode of “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” streaming now on Disney+.
This is the first of several rhino births expected at the park. Two other rhinos are also expecting; Jao is due in fall 2021, and Lola will likely give birth in fall or winter 2021.