A male rhino was born at Australia Zoo on May 4.
A male rhino was born at Australia Zoo on May 4. Ben Beaden/Australia Zoo

"I JUST want to squeeze its lips and hug it."

Terri Irwin gushed like a proud new mum when she saw the newest member of the Australia Zoo family: a 70kg baby boy rhino.

Born on May 4, he is far from small but is "absolutely adorable", Terri said yesterday.

"I am just in love."

The new rhino is the second born at the zoo since the start of the year as part of an ambitious breeding program to save the African species.

As well as introducing the arrival yesterday, Terri also announced that a five-year-old giraffe named Rosie was expecting her first child at the end of the year.

The newborn will be the first giraffe born at a Queensland zoo.

Terri said she was proud to see Steve's African dream coming true.

"This has been a dream of Steve's for many years," she said.

"It was part of our 10-year business plan back in 2006, to be able to have an Africa section and help protect African animals in the wild.

"The fact that we have giraffe is amazing and breeding them is a huge accomplishment. It is important to have this breeding program, especially for rhinos because they are doing it tough in the wild."



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