RALEIGH, N.C. — The zookeepers just didn't think Stormy the male rhinoceros had it in him. Now, they owe him an apology.
Zoo officials say Stormy had often tried to breed with the four female rhinos at the North Carolina Zoo, but the zookeepers had never seen him succeed. So color them surprised when Linda turned up pregnant, then gave birth July 2 to a rare southern white rhinoceros.
The unnamed calf weighed about 80 to 90 pounds at birth. She could weigh anywhere from 3,500 to 5,500 pounds when fully grown.
The International Rhino Foundation estimates that about 20,000 Southern white rhinos survive in the wild. The northern white rhino has been declared extinct. Researchers said recently they've succeeded in creating embryos using frozen northern white rhino sperm and eggs from a southern white rhino.