Meet the Newest Members of our Rhino Family…

It’s a baby boom at White Oak Conservation! Two rhinos were born weeks apart this winter and are being raised here at White Oak. Tidbit, a black rhino, is being cared for by a dedicated group of animal care specialists, while Kali, a greater one-horned rhino, is being raised by her mother, Shomili. Check out this great video of the two calves and learn more about Tidbit and Kali below.

Tidbit, the black rhino

Tidbit is the first southern black rhino born at White Oak in 13 years. When he was born in early November 2018, he was underweight, so he is being bottle-fed and raised by White Oak wildlife specialists. Their dedication to taking care of him is helping him thrive and he is gaining weight every day!

Several weeks after he was born, Tidbit got a newborn, critically endangered mountain bongo calf as a buddy. Both animals live together and benefit from each other’s companionship. The pair play together outside, and when it’s chilly, they have a heated barn to share.

Southern black rhinos like Tidbit are native to Africa and are classified as “critically endangered.”  By 1993, just 2,300 remained in the wild, down from approximately 65,000 in 1970. Thanks to sustained conservation efforts, that number today is around 5,000.  

The greatest threat to all rhinos are poachers. Every eight hours a rhino is killed for its horns, which are in high demand as status symbols in China and Vietnam and also are used in traditional Asian medicine.

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Kali, the Indian Rhino

Kali was born in late December of 2018 and is a greater one-horned rhino, also known as an Indian rhino. She is the first calf for her mother, Shomili, who came to White Oak a few years ago from San Diego Zoo Safari Park.  

Greater one-horned rhinos come from India and Nepal are classified as “vulnerable.”  Earlier in the 20th Century, fewer than 200 remained in the wild, but through conservation efforts, the populations in the wild now number about 3,550.

With large habitats surrounded by almost 17,000 acres of quiet forest, White Oak has provided a protected home in the northeast corner of Florida for rhinos since 1985.

White Oak manages three of the five rhino species (black, white and greater one-horned rhinos)  as a critical part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plans. These plans guide White Oak and its partners as they support conservation and build a sustainable North American population of rhinos as an assurance, or backup, population.

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