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Your morning adorable: Hand-raised rhinoceros calf plays ball in Germany

September 29, 2009 | 11:49 am

A newly-born rhino baby checks out a ball in her indoor enclosure in the zoo of Muenster, western Germany

When a rhinoceros calf was born at Muenster, Germany's, Allwetter Zoo on Sept. 20, keepers removed her quickly from her mother's care. The mother rhino, Emmi, had shown signs of aggressive behavior -- aggressive behavior severe enough to have brought about the deaths of two of her previous calves.  Concerned for the baby's safety, zoo staff decided to raise the calf themselves. (No word on why they decided to allow a rhino with Emmi's prior record of infant care to breed again -- but at the very least, we're relieved that her newest calf is in good health.)

Now the infant receives around-the-clock care from a team of keepers who bottle-feed her every two hours (rhino calves often drink 12 gallons of milk each day) and "spend the night next to the rhino, because it is looking for the physical contact," Allwetter Zoo director Joerg Adler told the Associated Press.  More photos and video of the calf after the jump!

A newly-born rhino baby checks out a ball in her indoor enclosure in the zoo of Muenster, western Germany

A newly-born rhino baby checks out a ball in her indoor enclosure in the zoo of Muenster, western Germany

A rhinoceros calf at the Allwetter Zoo

A rhinoceros calf at the Allwetter Zoo

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photos (top three): Lennart Preiss / AFP/Getty Images
Photos (bottom two): Clemens Bilan / AFP/Getty Images
Video: Associated Press

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