DENVER (CBS4) – The baby rhino at the Denver Zoo just turned 4 months old — and weighs over 500 pounds! Zookeepers say she’s growing fast — Joona can gain two pounds a day! But it will be a while before she’s as big as her mother, Tensing, who weighs 4,000 pounds.

Joona is still nursing but her incisors are growing in and she’s starting to eat solid food such as hay, branches and leaves. Tensing eats about 60 pounds of hay a day, plus produce and some grains — a total of about 75 pounds of food per day. The keepers don’t go in the enclosure with her — but Tensing comes right up to the fence and eats out of their hands (about nine and half minutes into the video above.)

Joona is a greater one-horned rhino and zookeepers say she is an important part of the Species Survival Plan. She’s also really cute.

Tensing and Joona at the Denver Zoo, June 16, 2020. (credit: Evan Semón Photography)

Playing in water and wallowing in mud are her favorite activities.

She’s also been swimming in the deep pool — zookeepers say rhinos have a natural instinct for swimming, and Tensing is very good.

Tensing and Joona at the Denver Zoo, June 16, 2020. (credit: Evan Semón Photography)

Keepers say Joona also enjoys having her legs brushed, and will lay right down and relax into it.

Joona’s favorite thing of all might be spending time with her mom! Keepers say they’ll stick together for several years.

Tensing and Joona at the Denver Zoo, June 16, 2020. (credit: Evan Semón Photography)

The zoo closed on March 17 because of the coronavirus pandemic and reopened to the public early this month. Zookeepers said Joona is adjusting well to having more people around.

 

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