LOS ANGELES — A conservation organization in San Diego says it has achieved the first successful artificial insemination birth of a southern white rhino in North America, an important step in saving another rhino species from extinction.
San Diego Zoo Global announced that mother Victoria gave birth Sunday to a healthy southern white rhino male calf in the barn at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park after 30 minutes of labor.
“All of us at San Diego Zoo Global are elated with the arrival of this special rhino calf,” said Barbara Durrant, director of reproductive science at the organization.
Victoria was artificially inseminated with frozen semen from southern white rhino Maoto in March 2018 following hormone-induced ovulation. Victoria carried her calf for over a year — 493 days. Mother and calf will remain off exhibit to the public to allow them time to bond for now.
The calf will eventually be introduced to the other five female rhinos at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center.