A baby southern white rhinoceros named Athanasius, the first of the species to be born in a Latin-American zoo, was presented to the media at Santiago's Buin Zoo on Wednesday.
Footage shows Athanasius shyly walking around as he gets acquainted with what will be his home, always under his mother's attentive gaze.
«Our new rhinoceros is called Athanasius, he was born on St. Athanasius' day and we thought it was a great name for a specimen like him. He was born on Sunday, July 5, at 2:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. GMT) after a five-hour birth and a 504-day gestation. It's a short gestation, considering that these animals can be up to a year and a half pregnant, and this was only a 14-month gestation,» said Ignacio Idalsoaga, the director of Buin Zoo.
The birth of little Athanasius comes at a difficult time for the zoo, as it has been closed to the public for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The situation has forced the zoo to begin a fundraising campaign.
The southern white rhino's natural habitat includes areas of Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa. The species is considered 'Near Threatened' by The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, as the population is rapidly decreasing due to factors such as poaching.
According to Save the Rhino, only around 17,212 to 18,915 southern white rhinoceros remain.