Rhino Calf Has Time Of Her Life Playing Around With Zookeeper
We are used to seeing baby animals prance, pounce and play, but when the baby can weigh up to 136 pounds at birth, it's bound to catch your eye. In this video from 2017, we get to see a baby rhinoceros play with her zookeeper, Thomas, and burn off a bit of playful energy before joining her mother in their stall.
The calf, Savannah is a Southern White Rhinoceros born to Mazumba in Givzkud Zoo in Denmark. The zoo is part of a joint zoo conservation effort to help breed and save the majestic Southern white rhinoceros in the world. Mazumba has previously given birth to two other calves. She can be seen in the background of the video, keep a close eye on her energetic calf, but it's clear that she isn't overly concerned. Her docile behavior is indicative of her comfort with her zookeepers.
Savannah prances and pounces at Thomas, placing her nose in his hands, then playfully runs back and forth like a huge puppy. It is clear that the young rhino is having fun, and appears to run gracefully, despite her massive size. She takes several mock charges at Thomas who holds his hands out to her as she meets him and takes back off. The camera operator can be heard giggling at the playful calf as she prances around the passage outside her stall.
At one moment, you can see the massive head of mom poke out to check on her spunky calf, but she seems satisfied and retreats back into the stall as Savannah zooms, skips, and playfully charges Thomas. It's adorable to watch her toss her head and bounce as she plays with Thomas. Once she has burned off a bit of energy though, she seems perfectly content to go into her stall and join her mom.
Savannah is quite small now, but when she grows up, she will likely be over 3700 pounds and 11 feet high at the shoulder. Then, she will likely join her parents in the breeding program to help her species grow strong in numbers and thrive. Rhinoceros are pregnant for up to 16 months. In the early 1900s, they were hunted to near extinction for their ivory horns. At that time, only 50 to 100 existed in the wild. With conservation efforts in place, there are currently more than 17,000 in the wild today.
Bringing Southern Rhinos Back
Southern white rhinos live in Africa, with the majority living in South Africa. Breeding programs, like those at Givskud Zoo, cooperate with other zoos to exchange rhinos in order to strengthen the species through genetic diversity. This cooperation is essential for endangered species to grow and thrive both in zoos and the wild. When species numbers are low, inbreeding can occur and the lack of genetic diversity can cause birth defects and make birth defects and health problems more pronounced. Little Savannah will go on to help her species continue to strengthen and return from the brink of extinction.
A Sweet Moment
That's a lot to ride on this little calf's shoulders. In the meantime, we can enjoy watching her play and grow up. What do you think about this cute little rhino? If you enjoyed this video, be sure to pass it on for your friends to enjoy as well.