Toronto Zoo shares video of baby rhino enjoying shower for 1st time

A video of a baby rhino taking a shower at the Toronto Zoo is making a splash on social media.

"Splish, Splash, our calf is taking a bath!" the zoo says about its greater one-horned rhino

The Toronto Zoo says its baby rhino, the first newborn of the year, now enjoys being cleaned. Here he is under a spray of water. (Toronto Zoo)

A video of a baby rhino taking a shower at the Toronto Zoo is making a splash on social media.

The video, shared on Twitter and Facebook by the zoo this week, shows the greater one-horned rhinoceros clearly enjoying a spray of water over his head.

"Splish, Splash, our calf is taking a bath!" the zoo said on Twitter. 

The baby rhino had his first shower on Jan. 8, when he was only four days old, according to the zoo. The infant, which has not yet been named, was the zoo's first newborn of 2018.

Apparently, the beast was "not too sure of it" and startled when splashed by his mother, Asha, short for Ashakiran. The update was part of #BabyRhinoDiaries written by the zoo.

"Today is the first time we see him frolicking, jumping, rolling on his side and tummy, and thoroughly enjoying himself under the water spray," the zoo said on Facebook.

Now, the baby rhino likes the cool water on his face and body and no longer minds being cleaned.

Look on his face is delight

In the video, the baby rhino is seen jumping as the water sprays over him and taking a few playful steps in the water.

At one point, he rolls on his side and tries to roll onto his back. Then, he stands and he sniffs the water. The whole time, his ears are flapping, and occasionally, his tail is wagging.

The look on his face is pure delight. 
A baby Indian rhino nurses at the Toronto Zoo. The baby, which has not yet been named, was born on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 at 11:04 am. (Toronto Zoo)

According to the zoo, the calf is not on public display, but will likely be seen by the public in the spring. He is currently in the Indian rhino habitat with his mother.

Twenty days old on Wednesday, the baby rhino now weighs 100 kilograms.

Katie Gray, the zoo's supervisor of public relations, said the zookeepers are documenting the baby rhino's growth and development and posting updates on the zoo's Facebook page.

"The video was released to engage the public with our baby rhino and educate about the urgent need to support the zoo's rhino conservation program and efforts," she said in an email on Wednesday.

The baby rhino is said to be doing well.

"He seems to be very strong," she said.

Rhino listed as 'vulnerable' species

There are only about 3,500 greater one-horned rhinos left in the wild. Greater one-horned rhinos are also known as Indian rhinos.

According to the zoo, the greater one-horned species is listed as "vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

Greater one-horned rhinos became close to extinction in the early 1900s and the species was once listed as "endangered." But with conservation efforts, the status of the species has been upgraded.

Habitat degradation, conflict with humans and poaching remain threats.

Small numbers of the rhino exist in Nepal and India. Roughly 70 per cent of the wild population is found in one area of Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site in the northeast Indian state of Assam.

"Any catastrophic event could have a huge impact on conservation efforts for this species," the zoo has said on its website.

The zoo said it is part of a North American greater one-horned rhino species survival plan, which aims to create and maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations and conservation efforts to save the species. It supports conservation efforts in the wild through public awareness, such as "keeper talks," and its endangered species reserve fund.