The holiday season is filled with celebrations, hope, and gratitude, and at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, they’re celebrating the new arrival of a baby white rhino last month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park! Lola, one of the white rhinos in Animal Kingdom’s care, delivered a healthy and adorable female calf in early November. The baby and mom are now thriving backstage under the watchful eye of Disney’s Animals, Science, and Environment team.
This baby marks the third white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the past 13 months – and the 13th white rhino born at Walt Disney World Resort – which is incredible news for the conservation of this near-threatened species.
Sadly, rhinos in the wild are hunted for their horns, and their populations continue to dwindle. Because of this, rhino births are increasingly important to maintain healthy populations. Disney is helping to protect white and black rhinos in the wild through the Disney Conservation Fund, supporting projects focused on habitat monitoring and restoration.
Lola’s successful delivery was on the heels of two other births within the past 13 months. In all three births, the calves cozied up to mom right away and began nursing.
Rhinoceros are the world’s second-largest land mammal. After a gestation period of 16 to 18 months, white rhinos typically weigh in around 140 pounds at birth. Lola and her new bundle of joy will spend the next several months bonding backstage before joining the rest of the herd on the park’s Harambe Wildlife Reserve. In the meantime, guests can keep an eye out for the firstborn of these three calves, Ranger, named in honor of the rangers who protect rhinos in the wild, while experiencing Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Lola’s calf joins a happy contingent of baby births this year, including Humphrey the Masai giraffe, Greta the hippo, and Ada the western lowland gorilla, just to name a few. All told, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has welcomed everything from the tiniest insects and snails to mammoth-hoofed creatures like the white rhino.