First-Ever Southern White Rhinoceros Born at Virginia Zoo

The Virginia Zoo has welcomed a new member to the heard: a bay rhino!

The Zoo announced the historic birth of its first-ever Southern white rhinoceros, born to mom, Zina, and dad, Sibindi, on Sunday, July 11, 2021. Animal care staff say the calf is strong, nursing well and is bonding with Mom.

This is a historic event for the Zoo as this calf is the first of its species to be born at the Virginia Zoo, but also for first-time mom, Zina. From the moment she gave birth, she has shown signs of good mothering instincts and has been very attentive to her calf.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome this baby, who will serve as an ambassador to its species in the wild,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “Because of the demand for their horns, rhinos are often killed daily. A baby animal’s cuteness piques the interest of everyone, but then we are able to share their conservation story and the ways we can protect their species,” Bockheim added.

The unnamed calf is a male, weighed in at approximately 125 pounds and stands 22 inches tall and 36 inches long.

The Zoo will be auctioning off the naming rights for the baby rhino to raise funds for rhino conservation. The public can place bids on the calf’s name through July 30. To place yours, visit

The baby rhino can also be “Zoodopted”! Proceeds from the auction and Zoodoptions will be donated to the Zoo’s conservation partner, the International Rhino Foundation, which provides support for land protection, the translocation of rhinos to more suitable habitats in Africa, and work being done to end the trade in rhino horns.