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San Diego Zoo's baby southern white rhino charges into life at the park

Three-Week-Old Southern White Rhino Calf “Gets Air” at the 
San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Edward, a southern white rhino calf at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, “gets air” as he runs around and explores the exhibit yard at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue
Posted at 11:48 AM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 14:48:45-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The San Diego Zoo's newest resident is getting the hang of life as a rhino.

Edward, the southern white rhino, experienced is first trot around the San Diego Zoo Safari Park's Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center Monday.

With his mom, Victoria, leading the way, Edward charged around the enclosure and even fit a mud bath into his busy schedule. It was the first time the mom and calf were released from the center's maternity yard and other off-exhibit areas.

RELATED: Birth of baby rhino marks major milestone in effort to save critically endangered species

“Victoria has been in the exhibit yard before but this was Edward’s first time,” said Jill Van Kempen, senior keeper at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “The second they entered the exhibit, Victoria just took off, running laps, and it was so fun to see Edward running right along beside her. He was very energetic, sometimes breathing heavily, and even getting all four feet off the ground at times.”

For about 30 minutes, the zoo says Edward and Victoria took advantage of the larger space by running around and stretching their legs.

Edward was born 23 days ago, becoming the first southern white rhino calf born via artificial insemination in the country. Edward was born weighing about 148 pounds, but now weighs about 243 pounds.

RELATED: San Diego Zoo calls for action against moves to weaken Endangered Species Act

San Diego Zoo official hope the historic birth now helps genetically recover the north white rhino species, a distant subspecies of which only two remain on Earth — both female.

Visitors to the Safari Park may catch Edward and Victoria from the Africa Tram as zookeepers rotate them, and five other southern white rhinos at the rescue center, in and out of the exhibit yard.