She's 3 weeks old and ready to take on the world!
The Denver Zoo may be temporarily closed due to the coronavirus, but that doesn't mean you can't check in on one of its newest, cutest residents.
On February 22, the zoo's 13-year-old Greater One-Horned Rhino, Tensing, gave birth to a beautiful, female calf. Mom and baby have been doing well since then, and the little cutie is in full exploration mode.
"This perfect little greater one-horned tank puppy is full of energy—running around the stall, bumping into mom, and digging her “horn” around in the soft shavings. Just a couple days ago she started goading Tensing into play sparring with her!" said the zoo on its Facebook page.
The little one voluntarily stepped on a scale this week, so the keepers could keep track of her progress. How much do you think the tiny tank weighs? Drumroll, please ... 185 pounds! Check out her big day on the scale below:
Tensing's baby is a big step for the vulnerable greater one-horned rhino species. In the wild, the rhinos at one point were at the brink of extinction, with only 200 animals estimated to be living. Poachers and hunters took a toll on the previously healthy population. Thanks to conservation efforts, there are now an estimated 3,500 greater one-horned rhinos worldwide. The Denver Zoo participates in the Greater One-Horned Rhino Species Survival Plan, which ensures a managed, healthy, genetically diverse population of rhinos that help safeguard the species' survival.
It took quite an effort for the little one to come into being. Tensing conceived after 11 previous failed attempts. The little one's dad is Jontu, a 10-year-old male from Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
“Tensing’s journey from pregnancy to motherhood exemplifies the care our team provides to ensure our animals are able to voluntarily participate in their own medical care,” said Assistant Pachyderm Curator Lindsey Kirkman. “It took extraordinary patience and dedication over countless hours to make Tensing feel at ease with the artificial insemination and ultrasound procedures that ultimately resulted in a healthy mom and calf.”
The little one is still behind the scenes, and, hopefully, by the time that visitors are allowed back to the zoo, we will be able to see her out and bouncing around in her new habitat!