LOCAL CELEBS From left, Eesha, Otto and Ongava meander across Safari West—Otto turned 1 on April 2. (Photo by Dan Pulcrano)

The big news this week is that the Sonoma County-born white rhinoceros Otto Lang celebrated his first birthday on Tuesday. He was born April 2, 2023, with a birth weight of about 100 pounds—after Safari West’s rhino-love doctors spent nearly 15 years trying to get his mom, Eesha, to bond with a suitable mate.

She quickly fell for the well-traveled Ongava, a 28-year-old hornster who’d previously made the rounds at the Fort Worth Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Tampa’s Lowry before arriving at Safari West in 2021.

Otto enters toddlerhood as a frisky, thousand-pound pup who spends his days enjoying mud puddles and sharpening his horn on tree stumps. We captured this shot of the family during a recent safari tour in the hills 10 miles southeast of Healdsburg Plaza, as the crow flies.

Safari West is a 400-acre private wildlife preserve in the hills east of Windsor. During spring and summer, visitors can catch one of six daily safari tours that run between 9am and 5pm. For more info and to book a tour, visit SafariWest.com.

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