First white rhino calf born at Cuba’s zoo

Cuba’s national zoo has welcomed its first white rhino calf to have been born in captivity in over 15 years. Esperanza Mel was born at 10.04 pm, local time, on Sept. 6, after 18 months of pregnancy and “arduous observation and control work by technicians, doctors, and biologists.”

The newborn has “very good suction reflexes and when feeling threatened hides behind its mother, who protects her with a lot of love,” the zoo said in a statement, inviting the public to visit the newly-formed family.

The white rhino is the largest of five rhino species, the fourth-biggest land animal and fourth-heaviest land mammal after the three species of elephants. They have a life expectancy of around 50 years.

The species is in danger of extinction as they are hunted for their horns, believed to possess medicinal properties – something that scientists have dismissed.

Sources: EFE, Asere, teleSUR

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