It's a Boy: San Diego Zoo Announces Historic Birth of Baby White Rhino

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The San Diego Zoo's brand-new baby white rhino. (San Diego Zoo Safari Park/YouTube)

A southern white rhino gave birth to a male baby conceived by artificial insemination at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Sunday.

The birth took about 30 minutes. Both mother and calf are doing well.

The calf is the first baby rhino born using artificial insemination at the San Diego Zoo facility.

The mother, Victoria, carried her baby for more than 490 days.

"Not only are we thankful for a healthy calf, but this birth is significant, as it also represents a critical step in our effort to save the northern white rhino from the brink of extinction," said Barbara Durrant, director of reproductive science at San Diego Zoo Global.

Victoria is one of six southern white rhinos that could become surrogate moms for critically endangered northern white rhinos.

There are only two northern white rhinos left alive on Earth. Both are female, and beyond breeding age.

The last male northern white rhino, named Sudan, died in March 2018. Scientists preserved frozen sperm samples from several males they are hoping to use to revive the species.

Zoo officials are working to develop artificial insemination and embryo implantation techniques so they can put a northern white embryo into a southern white female.

Meanwhile, there’s another southern white rhino at the Safari Park that was artificially inseminated. She is due around September.

This story includes reporting from The Associated Press.

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