Guests at the Chester Zoo in Cheshire, England, were excited to visit the rhino exhibit and discover the cutest baby cuddling up with his mother.
Asha, a rare greater one-horned rhino, carried her unborn calf for 16 months — but her labor was much, much faster.
In about 20 minutes, Asha successfully delivered a healthy male calf in the early morning hours. In the video below, you’ll see Asha lying on the floor of her enclosure, going through the birthing process without any assistance from the zoo staff. At birth, her calf already weighed a whopping 132 pounds. Once fully grown, he’ll weigh over 2 tons.
Cameras also captured the moment Asha’s baby, named Akeno, took his first adorable steps.
Staff hoped this miraculous birth would further fuel the work to keep these beautiful animals better protected, as greater one-horned rhinos are considered critically endangered and are illegally poached for their horns. According to the Chester Zoo, “Not long ago there were less than 200 greater one-horned rhinoceros in the wild. They were hunted almost to extinction. Just in time steps were taken to protect them. Now there are about 2,600, but they still face threats in India and Nepal… it’s important we do all we can to stop their numbers going down to critical levels again.”
See the incredible birth below.
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