West Palm Beach, FL – Lion Country Safari welcomed a female Southern White Rhinoceros calf to its herd on January 30th, 2020. Both the calf and mom are now located in the rhino maternity area where they can spend some quality time bonding together. The maternity area is visible to guests in their cars from the road in the Hwange National Park section of the drive-through safari.
The baby, named Elna (meaning “beloved” in Afrikaans), is the 4th offspring born to her mother, Bloom. Rhino gestation is approximately 16 months long, after which females give birth to a single calf weighing between 88 and 132 pounds (40-60 kg). It is expected that Elna will gain 3-4 pounds (1.4-1.8kg) a day from her mother's milk, and will gain about a thousand pounds (453.6kg) a year for the first three years. Baby rhinos nurse for almost two years.
Of the 5 species of rhinos (White, Black, Indian, Sumatran and Javan) the white rhino is the most abundant with approximately 20,000 alive today but all 5 species are in peril due mostly to poaching. The Southern White Rhino is the only species of rhino that eats only grasses; the others are also browsers.
Lion Country Safari is home to 13 White Rhinos – 10 females and 3 males. Since 1979, Lion Country Safari has had 36 rhino offspring and is proud to participate in the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Photo Credit: Lion Country Safari