The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro has announced the birth of a southern white rhino; it's the third in just under two years.

The female calf was born on January 5 to parents Stormy and Kit, weighing approximately 100 pounds.

The zoo has housed rhinos since 1976 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, and today their herd consists of nine including the most recent calf.

Erin Ivory is the curator of mammals at NC Zoo and was there for the birth. She says both mom and calf are doing well.

“Right now she's learning how to walk around the barn and explore and getting used to building up the muscles in her legs," Ivory says. "She's very precocious. She was standing in about 30 minutes, and she's just sticking close to mom right now.”

Ivory says that while southern white rhino populations are healthy, numbers are declining due to things like poaching and habitat destruction, so it's important to protect the species.

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