Mili getting milk in a photo taken on Jan. 17, 2013
Credit: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo
Sometimes, even rhino babies need to be bottle fed.
The San Diego Zoo released a picture of its newborn rhinoceros Shomili, or Mili, being bottle fed this week as part of her daily eating routine. Zookeepers say her first-time mom Sundari has been having trouble producing enough milk to nourish the massive five-week-old baby, who currently weighs 245 pounds (111 kilograms).
"Sundari is a young mother and her milk is not coming in the way keepers expected," a statement from the zoo read. "Animal care staff made the decision to give a supplemental bottle feeding twice a day to make sure Shomili gets the nutrition a young, growing rhino requires."
Sundari and Mili are greater one-horned rhinoceroses, which are currently listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. In the early 20th century, they were hunted close to extinction in the eastern Himalayas but recovered, thanks to strict protection measures.