Escondido, California - Edward, a 13-day-old southern white rhino calf at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, got his first chance to experience a true mud wallow this morning, under the watchful eye of his mom, Victoria. Rhino keepers decided to create a wallow for the youngster to provide him the opportunity to experience an instinctive behavior for rhinos. Keepers scooped up mud from the area around the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center, brought it to his yard and added water to create the wallow.
After watching mom, the young rhino quickly figured out what to do, and he rolled around just the way mom did. By doing this, rhinos coat themselves with a thick layer of mud that helps act as a sunscreen and bug repellent, and helps to keep them cool. “It’s so exciting to see these instinctive behaviors—just days after he entered this world,” said Jonnie Capiro, lead keeper, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.