White rhinoceros born at safari park in Spain

Sept. 29, 2013 at 3:53 PM

CANTABRIA, Spain, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A rare white rhinoceros has been born at the Cabarceno Park in Cantabria, Spain, officials said.

The male white rhinoceros was born at the outdoor safari park on Sept. 19 after a 16 1/2-month gestation period, thinkSPAIN reported Sunday.

The baby rhino weight about 110 pounds at birth, park officials said, adding that he began walking within about 15 minutes.

Veterinarians at the park said the first few weeks of the newborn's life will be crucial and that he is receiving round-the-clock care. The newborn and his mother, 8-year-old Zola, have been moved to an enclosure, away from the other rhinoceroses at the park.

White rhinoceroses are on the verge of becoming extinct because of poachers who kill them for their horns. The horns are used as ornaments and in traditional Chinese medicines.

They are also extremely difficult to breed in captivity; staff at the Cabarceno Park had been trying for 16 years to impregnate a female white rhinoceros.

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