Toronto Zoo welcomes 'vulnerable' baby Indian rhinoceros
Ashakiran, an 11-year-old female Indian rhinoceros, gave birth on Wednesday
Just in case wee pandas and lion cubs weren't enough to fulfil your weekly quota for all things adorable — a male baby rhino has just joined the Toronto Zoo's lineup of extremely cute baby animals.
The newest addition to the zoo was born to Ashakiran (Asha), an 11-year-old Indian rhinoceros, on Wednesday.
"This recent birth is very important for Indian rhinoceros conservation as the species is currently listed as 'vulnerable' on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species," the zoo said in a statement.
The zoo said there are only about 2,000 of these animals left in the wild.
The Indian rhinoceros exists in a few parts of Nepal and India and is considered a vulnerable species due to habitat degradation and poaching.
The zoo said this is the first surviving calf for Asha and Vishnu, the newborn's 12-year-old father.
Previously, Asha, who is on loan from the Los Angeles Zoo, gave birth to a stillborn calf in 2011 and then was unable to maintain a pregnancy.
The Toronto Zoo worked with the Cincinnati Zoo to give oral progesterone to Asha to help her have a successful pregnancy. The zoo says the birth of the healthy calf "will strengthen conservation breeding efforts in the future."
It is the fourth Indian rhinoceros born in the zoo's history. The last one was a female born in 1999 named Sanya, who is now in The Wilds zoo in Ohio.