Celebrating Victoria

The northern white rhino is the most endangered animal in the world. There are only 2 left on the planet and neither is able to breed, so we're working with partners around the globe to save them from extinction, using groundbreaking science, brand new technology, and decades of world-class animal care expertise.

Playing a key role in our rhino rescue program, Victoria is the first rhino in San Diego Zoo Global's 103-year history to become pregnant through artificial insemination. While she and her calf, Edward, are southern white rhinos, his birth proves that the science is working—and that hope for the northern white rhino is at our fingertips.

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Victoria and Edward, southern white rhinos, stroll across a hill

Edward and Victoria are both important "firsts"—Victoria is the first rhino in San Diego Zoo Global's 103-year history to become pregnant by artificial insemination. And Edward is the first southern white rhino born by artificial insemination in North America.


Loves rhino biscuits and having her legs scratched. Detests cucumbers.

February 13, 2020

Updates from Victoria's Rhino Care Team:

Edward and Future have been officially introduced! Last week, the calves and their mothers shared the big yard for the first time, and everything went perfectly.

At first, mothers Victoria and Amani showed their protective natures by facing off with each other while their calves stayed close. But very quickly, they realized that there was no threat to the young rhinos and allowed Edward and Future to interact. Read more about their first meeting.

Edward has now met all the female rhinos at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center. Every morning he greets Helene, Livia, Wallis, Nikita, and Dakari individually, sizing up which one he wants to play with first. Wallis seems to be his best playmate⁠—she just loves him. All the rhinos are so gentle with him, even though he's growing fast and often head-butts them in the side to start a play session.



Edward and Future, southern white rhino calves, meet for the first time

Edward (left) and Future officially meet for the first time. Previously, they had a number of howdy sessions, which went very well, but they hadn't been in the same space.


Edward's weight, in pounds, at 6 months old!

December 9, 2019

Updates from Victoria's Rhino Care Team:

Edward has met almost all of the rhinos at the Rhino Rescue Center! He and Victoria shared the big yard with Wallis and Nikita last week, and everything went perfectly. At first Victoria showed just the right amount of protective motherly instinct, the way she did when Edward first shared space with Helene and Livia. She soon relaxed and let Edward go play with his "aunties."



Edward, a southern white rhino calf, climbs on his "aunt" Livia, another southern white rhino

Edward climbs on his "aunt" Livia.

4 mos.

Edward has: grown several teeth and a small horn; mostly learned how to use his mouth; met almost all the other rhinos at the Rescue Center.

November 2, 2019

Updates from Victoria's Rhino Care Team:

Edward just turned 3 months old! He weighs 550 pounds and has several teeth. Rhinos Helene and Livia have been added to Edward's crash, and he loves having other rhinos to play with.



Southern white rhino calf, Edward, rests after running around his yard at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center

Edward explores the big yard at the Rhino Rescue Center.


Edward's weight, in pounds, at 3 months old.

September 28, 2019

Updates from Victoria's Rhino Care Team:

Edward has a small tooth erupting on his bottom jaw! He's working on his mouth coordination. We've seen him putting his face in the water drinker and moving his lips around. He also picks up small pieces of Victoria's food to investigate them, but he isn’t really eating solids yet.

Edward loves playing with toys. He makes sure they know he's in charge—he will spar with anything! He's had more visits with his "aunts," Helene and Livia. He meets them face to face with a protective barrier between him and the females. He feels brave at first, but then spooks himself and runs away. Helene and Livia are gentle and sweet with him⁠—he's simply displaying typical calf behavior. We're hoping to introduce Edward to the other females over the next month.



Victoria and Edward, southern white rhinos, rest for a moment in their habitat

Edward is learning how to use his lips and mouth! He's practicing his coordination and testing out new things.


Loves sparring. Will play with anyone and anything: his mother, his food tub, his toys...

August 28, 2019

Updates from Victoria's Rhino Care Team:

Can you believe it's been a month since Edward was born? While a baby rhino is exciting under any circumstance, this one is extra special, and we're completely smitten with the little guy! It's been amazing to watch Edward grow—every day, he's just a little different.

Edward is having lots of "firsts." Last week he enjoyed his first mud wallow, and this week he went out into the main yard for the first time. As soon as we opened the gate between the yards, Victoria took off at full speed, and Edward was galloping right by her side!

Edward hadn't been out of the maternity areas and into the main yard yet because we wanted him to get a little bigger (and coordinated enough!) to keep up with Victoria. And he is—since he was born, he's gained more than 120 pounds! He had no trouble keeping pace with his mom for almost 30 minutes while they ran and ran. Sometimes, all four of his giant feet would be off the ground! After their gleeful romp, they plopped down in a mud wallow to cool off.



Edward, a southern white rhino, running fast

How do we check Edward's weight? He stands on a large scale on the ground between the yards. Victoria watches while she munches on her favorite food, orchard hay, and then they're off and running.


Edward's weight, in pounds, at 3 1/2 weeks old.

August 9, 2019

Updates from Victoria's Rhino Care Team:

We’ve had a busy week trying to get back to normal after all the excitement around Edward's birth.

Edward has learned how to wallow, enthusiastically, and Victoria no longer needs to rub mud on him. He's got it down.



Victoria and Edward, southern white rhinos

Edward and Victoria are thriving! He's playful and curious and she's an amazing mother.

July 28, 2019

The day sweet Edward joined our rhino family!

August 1, 2019

Updates from Victoria's Rhino Care Team:

Victoria and Edward are thriving! She's recovering well, getting lots of rest and extra attention from the rhino care team. She has settled into her motherly role beautifully.

Edward, on the other hand, is ready to take on the world! He's gained more than 20 pounds since Monday, which is great. He's meeting his developmental milestones like clockwork. And he's venturing away from Victoria to explore. Once she realizes he has taken off, Victoria immediately chases after him. He's feisty and curious, and it’s amazing to finally see her as a mom.

Edward is already very playful and spends the early mornings sparring with Victoria. He charges her in play, still a bit uncoordinated on his little legs. She's very gentle with him, and lets him win. Later, if she happens to be resting when he wants to play again, he'll challenge his food bucket!



Edward, a southern white rhino calf

Meet Edward! He has the same fuzzy ears as his mom, Victoria.


Edward's weight, in pounds, when he was born.

July 31, 2019

He Has a Name!

To honor the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation's generous investments in our efforts to save the northern white rhino, we've named the first rhino born through this groundbreaking program Edward, in honor of Ellen's brother.



Edward and Victoria, two southern white rhinos, relax in the sun at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center

Edward and Victoria relax in the sun at the Rhino Rescue Center.


Minutes before Edward stood up for the first time. Not bad!

July 30, 2019

Updates from Victoria's Rhino Care Team:

Victoria and her calf are doing well. He's nursing frequently and demonstrating all the normal behaviors of a calf's early days.

Both rhinos have access to the outdoor maternity yard, as well as the maternity area inside the barn. Victoria is enjoying relaxing in the Southern California sun. We're giving them space and quiet time to continue bonding.

It’s been hot, so we made a new wallow for Victoria in the outdoor yard. She rolled and rolled in the mud, cleaning off and cooling down. Little Edward just watched her, so she scooped up mud in her wide mouth and wiped it all over his back! Rhinos use mud to protect their sensitive skin from harsh sun and biting insects.



Victoria's calf, a male, explores the maternity area of the barn

Victoria's calf is the first southern white rhino born by artificial insemination in North America.


Victoria's calf is the 186th rhino born at the Safari Park.

July 28, 2019

We're so excited to share this news with you!

Victoria gave birth to a healthy male calf at about 6:00 p.m. this evening! He's doing well and has already nursed successfully.

Throughout the day, Victoria seemed restless. By evening, her udders were leaking milk and the early stages of labor had begun. The rhino care team moved her into the birth area in the barn and put down extra bedding. Two veterinarians were present to monitor Victoria and her calf.

Victoria progressed through the first stages of labor easily and calmly. The labor itself only lasted about 30 minutes! Now, mother and calf are bonding and getting some much-needed rest.

Read More >



Victoria and her calf rest in the maternity area of the barn

Victoria and her calf are resting and bonding. Their health is being monitored around-the-clock.


Victoria's calf will gain up to 25 pounds per week during his first year.

July 22, 2019

Updates from Victoria’s Rhino Care Team:

Victoria began leaking a small amount of fluid from her udders last Tuesday, which is normal, expected, and indicates that she's approaching the delivery date. Veterinarians and scientists are collecting milk samples twice daily, for the hospital lab to run an electrolyte analysis.

She is still quite affectionate toward the rhino care team and approaches us readily when we call her, which is especially important during this hot weather. Like many animals, rhinos slow down a bit in the heat.

Victoria and Helene, her pregnancy buddy, have separated from the other rhinos. They're in the maternity barn and yard, and not viewable to the public at this time.

Weekly ultrasounds are still being performed on Victoria. The fetus continues to be active and we can easily see movement in her belly throughout the day.

Read More >



A close-up of victoria the rhino as she looks into the camera

Victoria, a southern white rhino who lives at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center, is making history.


Victoria's labor only lasted about 30 minutes!

July 3, 2019

Updates from Victoria’s Rhino Care Team:

Victoria does not have significant udder development yet. This is normal and expected, as udders only develop a few days before a rhino mother gives birth, and Victoria is still about 2 weeks away from her due date. But Victoria has received an increase in the amount of food she receives, to prepare her for lactation.

She’s extra affectionate and follows the rhino care team around more than usual, looking for attention. We're happy to spend extra time with her.

The rhino care team and veterinarians are conducting weekly ultrasounds on Victoria, where they gather information on fetal movement, blood flow, and other key vital signs.

A small scale is set up so the team can record the calf’s weight at birth and in the following days.

In the next few days, we'll level out the maternity yard, removing any uneven ground as well as a shallow wallow, just in case Victoria gives birth outside. They’ll also put in large piles of soft sand. The plan is for Victoria to give birth inside the barn, but we want to be prepared for anything. The bedding in the barn has been switched to very soft hay.

We're reinforcing Victoria’s response to being called by her name, in case they need to ask her to move into the barn as her delivery approaches.

June 10, 2019

Victoria’s baby is expected in July or August of 2019! Her rhino care team reports that she's playful and friendly. She's seeking extra attention, which they are delighted to provide.

A new, state-of-the-art, indoor/outdoor camera system is being installed at the Rhino Rescue Center. The rhino care team and veterinarians will be able to keep an extra-close eye on mother and baby around the clock, without disturbing them.

February 11, 2019

Victoria has entered her third trimester! Her baby's kicks can be seen from outside her belly, without equipment, and her veterinarians can feel the baby through her abdomen.



Victoria's baby in ultrasound

Victoria's baby in ultrasound, February 2019.


Length of a rhino pregnancy, in months.

July 23, 2018

Victoria has passed her 100th day of pregnancy! As of today, she's 123 days along, and is progressing exactly as she should be.

The baby is getting harder to find on the ultrasound because it's dropping down and the placenta is getting large. This is normal and expected!

Every time we see that tiny rhino-in the-making on the ultrasound screen, it makes our hearts leap. Can you make out the shape of its body and legs along the bottom left? The most recent measurement we were able to get was its body length: 10 cm from crown to rump.



Ultrasound image of a southern white rhino baby inside Victoria the rhino

Victoria's baby in ultrasound, June 2018.


Weight of a baby rhino at birth, in pounds.

May 18, 2018

Victoria is only about 7 weeks along, and rhino pregnancies last 16-18 months. It’s early in her pregnancy, and the road ahead is long, but we’re so excited to share this wonderful news. Donors like you make the work at the Rhino Rescue Center possible.



An ultrasound image of Victoria the rhino's embryo

An ultrasound image of Victoria's baby, taken in May 2018.


Life span of a rhino, in years.

Rhinos crossing the grassy hill at the Safari Park
rhino mom and baby


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