Critically endangered eastern black rhino calf born at Lincoln Park Zoo

Baby rhino. Do do. Do do do do. Baby rhino.

And so cute. Do do. Do do do do. So cute.

Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo announced the birth of the still unnamed — and unsexed — eastern black rhinoceros calf on Sunday.

The calf’s mother, 13-year-old Kapuki, took motherhood immediately, the zoo said.

The zoo’s animal care and veterinary team monitored the newborn and mother via remote camera around the clock to give them some privacy.

Bonding quickly began.

The rhino calf quickly started nursing. Lincoln Park Zoo/Twitter

It’s truly been a positive start to life.

The calf even took to its feet quickly.

Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered and are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of species at risk.

The species has been threatened largely by poachers who seek the animal’s horn as part of the illegal wildlife trade.

According to the IUCN, their numbers have declined by over 90 per cent in the last three generations. The populations are fragmented and shockingly small.

“In recent years numbers have increased to 594 in the major range state, Kenya, where most animals are now better protected in smaller sanctuaries where law enforcement effort can be concentrated,” the conservation group explains. “Numbers have increased to 88 in Tanzania with a further 60 in an out of range and rapidly breeding population in South Africa. Continentally there are now 740 [eastern black rhinos] making it the rarest of the three remaining black rhino subspecies.”

Which is why every new calf matters.

Photos Lincoln Park Zoo/Facebook/Twitter

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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