San Diego Zoo debuts baby rhino, internet swoons

Posted at 3:20 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 19:08:49-05

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park welcomed its newest family member this month.

The zoo debuted Taj, a ten-week old greater one-horned rhinoceros, on Jan. 18, and the baby rhino just keeps winning over hearts.

In a video posted to YouTube Wednesday, Taj is seen exploring the grounds of the safari park alongside his mother, Tanaya. The two have been in boma, a protected area away from other animals that allows the two to bond.

Related: San Diego Zoo joins Twitter battle over cutest animals

The process allows Taj to get used to his surroundings and experience many "firsts," including interacting with other animals and navigating various terrain. 

Taj seems comfortable - though, not straying far from his mother - roaming the park, even meeting a Malayan sambar deer face-to-face. Yes, we also these two become best friends.

Check out the adorable video below:

Soon, Taj will meet the four other rhinos that live in the habitat, including his three-year-old sister Petunia.

The greater one-horned rhinocerous is listed as "vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. There are only an estimated 3,500 greater one-horned rhinos in the wild in India and Nepal, more than 70 percent of which live on a reserve in India. The rhinos' numbers have fallen due to habitat loss, poaching threats, and trafficking of rhino horns.

Anyone hoping to see Taj in the wild will have a chance to at the Asian Plains exhibit, from a Caravan Safari or a Private Cart Tour.