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San Diego Zoo's first rhino born via artificial insemination turns 1-year-old

San Diego Zoo Southern White rhino Edward birthday_2
San Diego Zoo Global’s First Southern White Calf Conceived Through Artificial Insemination Turns One
Birthday Celebration Held in Edward’s Honor
Posted at 1:00 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 16:02:27-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It's already been one year since the San Diego Zoo Safari Park saw the first southern white rhino born through artificial insemination arrive at its park.

Edward turned one-year-old on July 28, celebrating with a party at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center with his mother Victoria, 8-month-old female calf Future, and her mother Amani.

"Even though he doesn’t know it’s his birthday, it is very special to see Edward – a healthy, robust rhino - running around, enjoying his special treats," said Barbara Durrant, director of Reproductive Sciences at San Diego Zoo Global. "We aren’t just celebrating his birthday but also are celebrating the significance of his birth."

Edward was born last year after hormone-induced ovulation and artificial insemination with frozen semen from southern white rhino Maoto on March 22, 2018. Victoria gave birth 16 months later.

Edward's birth was the zoo's first successful attempt to birth a southern white rhino via artificial insemination and a critical step toward recovering its distant cousin, the northern white rhino. Currently, only two northern white rhinos exist in the world and both are female.

Researchers believe that a northern white rhino calf could be born from artificial insemination within 10 to 20 years.