TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's a bouncing baby bundle of...400 pounds of joy. The Baton Rouge Zoo welcomed a new Black Rhino calf. The father is a proud Tyler native.
"It's just phenomenal to walk in and see what's going on and to have these babies and realize what's going on is actually going to take this into the future," Caldwell Zoo Curator of Mammals Scotty Stainback said.
Black rhino births are rare. This is the first in North America this year and only the third worldwide. Tatu, the father, was born and raised in Tyler and sent to Baton Rouge in hopes this would happen.
"What they did, they took a look and saw Tatu was a good fit for a female in Baton Rouge, so they made a recommendation to have him moved to pair up with her. That's what we did back in 2003."
With less than 4,500 Black Rhinos still alive, an organization called Species Survival Plan is trying to help by matching up mates to make a little rhino love connection.
"We're trying to sustain the genetics of these guys for as long as possible, and prevent any relationship from inbreeding or anything like that. This is an excellent thing for the zoo world to have a female born to carry on the genetics of her parents."
With numbers swindling, every birth helps. Tatu's mission to Louisiana will mean another generation lives to see the future.