There’s a new addition to the Toronto Zoo after an 11-year-old Indian rhinoceros gave birth to a healthy male calf on Wednesday.
The calf’s 11-year-old mother, Ashakiran, also affectionately named Asha for short, gave birth after a 16-month long pregnancy.
“Asha is on a breeding loan from Los Angeles Zoo and it is these partnerships that will bring us one step closer to overall conservation efforts to save this incredible species,” says Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals, Toronto Zoo said in a media release.
The Indian rhinoceros is considered a threatened species as there are approximately 2,000 left in the wild, according to zoo officials.
Four Indian rhinoceroses have been born at the Toronto Zoo with the last being a female named Sanya, born on August 14, 1999. She now resides at The Wilds safari park in Ohio.
Zoo officials say this is the first healthy birth for Asha and Vishnu, the calf’s father and 12-year-old male.
Asha previously gave birth to a stillborn back in 2011 and had trouble maintaining pregnancy since.
However, the zoo said a partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo helped keep the calf growing by administering hormones to its mother.
Zoo officials said the calf will be monitored closely for the first 30 days and is off-limits for public viewing for the time being.
© 2016 Shaw Media