SAN DIEGO (AP) — A white rhino born last month at San Diego Zoo Safari Park has been named Future for what the calf represents to rhino conservation worldwide, officials said.
The baby is bonding with her mother and frolicking in a maternity yard left wet by recent storms.
“Future’s new favorite thing is mud,” zookeeper Marco Zeno said. “She sees a puddle and she wants to roll in it!”
Future is the 100th southern white rhino to be born at the park and the second conceived through artificial insemination. The first, Edward, was born to a different mother in July.
The zoo births using frozen sperm are part of efforts to develop knowledge needed to save a subspecies called the northern white rhino, officials said. Only two currently remain and both are female.
Several other rhino species also are being pushed to toward extinction.
Future was born Nov. 21 to an 11-year-old mother named Amani.
At 19 days old, the baby weighed 193 pounds. She could weigh 20 times that when fully grown.
Rhinos typically coat themselves with a thick layer of mud that helps act as a sunscreen and bug repellent, and helps to keep them cool.
“Future is not only exhibiting natural rhino behavior, she appears to be having a ton of fun doing it,” Zeno said.