Newborn baby rhino at Denver Zoo melts hearts worldwide

The Denver Zoo just welcomed its first greater one-horned rhino calf.

After many failed attempts, 13-year-old rhino Tensing gave birth to a female calf on Feb. 22, the zoo announced on Instagram.

Unable to get pregnant naturally, Tensing underwent 11 unsuccessful artificial insemination procedures over four years before finally conceiving in November 2018.

The zoo reports that the Colorado calf’s father is 10-year-old Jontu from Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb.

The so-far unnamed calf captured hearts worldwide after the zoo shared her first photos on Facebook.

The post features four adorable photos of the calf. In one, she sleeps soundly beside her mother. In another, the baby stands beside her mom, showing off their immense difference in size.

One Facebook user couldn’t help but notice Tensing’s “pride,” writing: “I love Tensing in the last picture! Look at how proud she is, like ‘I made this!’”

Another commended the zoo for its efforts, commenting: “Thank you to all the keepers and caregivers that took such good care of Tensing so this little bundle of cuteness could be possible.”

According to a press release by the zoo, the newborn rhino will remain behind the scenes for six to eight weeks to give her time to bond with Tensing. Eventually, animal lovers will be able to swing by the park to see the baby.

“The birth of this calf is the result of a truly heroic effort by our animal care, health and science teams and partners from other zoos to support the species,” Brian Aucone, senior vice president for animal sciences, said in the release.

“It’s a significant event for several reasons, including the fact that this is the first greater one-horned rhino born at Denver Zoo, and because it was another very important step in reproductive science for animals in the wild and human care.”

Also known as the Indian rhino, their populations plummeted as they were hunted for sport or killed as “agricultural pests,” the World Wildlife Foundation says.

By the start of the 20th century, only 200 remained. Now, thanks to conservation efforts, around 3,500 rhinos are alive today, typically found in northeastern India and the Terai grasslands of Nepal.

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