Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo welcomes baby rhino

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo welcomes baby rhino

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

An endangered Indian rhinoceros named Jamie gave birth to her third baby at Lowry Park Zoo, one day before her own birthday. 

The zoo's Asian animal care team named the calf Jiyu, which means "a compassionate friend". He has not been weighed yet, but the zoo officials told us rhino calves normally weigh about 75 to 100 pounds.

Jiyu is Jamie's third offspring.  The first, a female named Jaya, born in 2009, is at Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Wichita. The second, a male named Jahi, born in 2011, lives at Central Florida Zoo in Sanford.

This birth is also a significant milestone in the conservation effort for this endangered species, say zoo officials.  The poaching of rhino horn is the biggest threat facing the animals.  There only 2,850 Indian rhinos in the wild, and less than 60 in accredited zoos.

"This calf represents our third successful offspring in support of the Indian rhino management program in North America," said Dr. Larry Killmar, vice president of animal science. "This tremendous achievement requires a great deal of hard work and dedication by the animal management staff."

The baby and the mother posed for pictures Thursday, but are not available to meet the zoo visitors yet.

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