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Rare second white rhino calf Kalibur born at the Gulf Breeze Zoo

Special to Northwest Florida Daily News/USA TODAY NETWORK

GULF BREEZE — The Gulf Breeze Zoo started 2021 with renewed hope for rhinoceros conservation.

As 2020 came to a close, the zoo’s experienced southern white rhino mother, Katie, welcomed her first son, a healthy calf named Kalibur.

More (2018):A rare white rhino has been born at the Gulf Breeze Zoo

This rare calf made a perfect Christmas present to the dedicated staff overseeing the rhino conservation program, and marks the second white rhino born at the park. Katie also gave birth to a healthy female calf in 2018.

Kalibur, a southern white rhino calf, was born at the Gulf Breeze Zoo at the end of 2020.

Katie was imported from South Africa in 2012 along with three other white rhinos to protect them from rampant poaching. To date, this group of imported rhinos has produced eight healthy calves.

More:Gulf Breeze Zoo welcomes two adorable baby animals (PHOTOS)

In the wild, it is estimated that one rhino is killed every 10 hours for its horn. Rhino gestation is 16 months, resulting in a slow increase in population numbers toward recovery. Therefore, each calf born is a reason to celebrate!

The Gulf Breeze Zoo supports the International Rhino Foundation to help protect rhinos in the wild.

The Gulf Breeze Zoo is home to more than 900 exotic animals. The zoo supports wildlife conservation in more than 135 countries through financial aid, public education, captive breeding and habitat preservation.

The Gulf Breeze Zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily and is located just off U.S. Highway 98. Visit www.GBZoo.com for event updates, seasonal hours and more.