Lali, which means “darling girl” in Hindi, is one of about 2,550 Indian rhinos in the world, 150 of which are in parks and zoos. The species is considered critically endangered because of human encroachment on its native habitats in India and Nepal and because the rhinos have been poached for their horns, which some believe have medicinal value.
Indian rhinos, which have one horn and large folds of skin that look like armor, are also slow to multiply because of their long, 16-month gestation period. Lali, who was born Dec. 3, weighs 180 pounds but could grow to about 5,000 pounds, Galindo said. Lali is the 16th Indian rhino at the San Diego park.