Rhino

‘The Wilds’ Sees Greater One-horned Rhino Birth

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The Wilds, in Cumberland, OH, proudly welcomed a Greater One-horned Rhinoceros calf on August 24.

The female calf is receiving excellent care from her mother and is the eighth Greater One-horned Rhino to be born at The Wilds. The birth is a significant achievement as the species nearly went extinct during the 20th century.

The calf and mom, Sanya, are doing well and have been bonding in pasture on The Wilds property. The Animal Management team has been monitoring the pair closely and has not needed to provide any immediate assistance, as Sanya is an experienced mother and the calf appears to be strong and healthy. Calves usually weigh more than 100 pounds at birth and gain a few pounds every day. An adult Greater One-horned Rhino can reach weights of approximately 4,000 to 6,000 pounds.

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4_Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf 2337 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and AquariumPhoto Credits: Amanda Carberry/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Sanya, born at the Toronto Zoo in 1999, has now given birth to five calves since arriving at The Wilds in 2004. The calf’s father, Jahi, was born at Zoo Tampa in 2011, moved to the Central Florida Zoo in 2013 and then arrived at The Wilds in 2017 as per a breeding recommendation through the Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to maintain genetic diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care. This newborn is Jahi’s first offspring.

The Wilds, home to three Greater One-horned Rhinos, is one of only 30 facilities in North America to care for this species. The Wilds is also home to 15 Southern White Rhinos. In total, more than 500 animals representing 28 species from around the world make up the animal population at the open-range, natural landscape at The Wilds.

Once listed as an endangered species, the Greater One-horned Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) has seen a steady population increase thanks to strict government protection and is now listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as “Vulnerable”. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there were only 600 individuals surviving in their native ranges of India and Nepal by 1975. Since then, researchers estimate the population has grown to exceed 3,000 Greater One-horned Rhinos living in these areas.

“We are thrilled to welcome this little rhinoceros into our Wilds family! Every rhinoceros is important to the survival of his or her species. While there has been some success in rhinoceros conservation recently, unfortunately, there are still threats to all rhino species. They are being poached for their horn, even though it is made only of keratin— the equivalent of fingernails—and they are facing habitat destruction in their native ranges. We are proud to be able to contribute to rhino conservation by welcoming this incredible new arrival, as the calf represents hope for future generations of Greater One-horned Rhinos,” said Dr. Jan Ramer, vice president of The Wilds.

The new calf may be visible to guests during either an Open-Air Safari or Wildside Tour. For more information about The Wilds or to book your visit, please visit www.TheWilds.org .

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Female White Rhino for Dubbo Zoo

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo has welcomed a female White Rhino calf!

The calf was born, behind-the-scenes, in the early hours of August 18 to mother, Mopani, at 16 months gestation. The new baby weighed in at 74kgs.

“The calf required some initial veterinary assistance over the first two days of her life, but being a very strong calf went from strength to strength,” said Keeper Supervisor Pascale Benoit.

“The calf is the third offspring for experienced mother Mopani, sired by White Rhino bull, Khulu who sadly passed away earlier this year. This birth heralds another breeding achievement for the rhino conservation breeding programs at Taronga Western Plains Zoo,” said Pascale.

Pascale continued, “The team is thrilled to welcome another precious White Rhino. Being a female, this little one will one day play an important role in the regional breeding program, hopefully creating a new genetic bloodline.”

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Both Mopani and her calf are now on exhibit, along with two other females in the herd. Mopani is a very protective and caring mother and has bonded well with her calf. She is taking motherhood in her stride again.

“We are really proud of Mopani and the maternal behaviors we are observing. She is very protective of her calf and is keeping the other herd members at a distance at present,” said Pascale.

NSW Environment Minister, Matt Kean, thanked all the zoo staff for their incredible care for the new calf, as well as all the animals at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

“With about 19,000 White Rhinos left in the wild, every rhino birth is vital. It shows how critical the conservation work undertaken by Taronga is – not just for rhinos but our native animals that are also under threat. These conservation efforts wouldn’t be possible without the dedication from zoo staff.”

The White Rhino calf is yet to be named. Taronga Western Plains Zoo is planning to run a naming competition on its Facebook page to help find a name for the newest member of the White Rhino herd.

Taronga actively supports conservation efforts for wild rhinos in Africa, Indonesia and India, including providing funds and support for habitat and reforestation, anti-poaching and rhino protection units and reduction of human-animal conflict. Taronga is also a founding member of the International Rhino Foundation.

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White Rhino Calf Born at Royal Burgers’ Zoo

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On August 15, a White Rhinoceros calf was born at Royal Burgers’ Zoo. According to keepers, the young bull calf is in good health.

Since 2002, the Arnhem zoo has been remarkably successful at breeding Rhinoceros: as many as ten Rhinos have been born in the capital of the province of Gelderland, including one stillbirth. A total of 269 White Rhinoceros live in European zoos: 116 bulls and 153 cows. On average, only ten are born each year in Europe.

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According to the Zoo, there are several factors that create challenges for breeding success. Not all adult Rhino bulls are fertile, and Rhinoceros cows often develop cysts in the uterine horns. As a result, the sperm can no longer reach the egg, or the egg cannot come loose from the ovary. The cysts can also block the egg from passing through the fallopian tube, or the fertilized egg from nestling in the uterine wall. Young cows being hormonally suppressed by their mothers is another problem zoos face. In this situation, the young cows only become fertile after being transferred to another zoo, which lifts the oppression.

Of the five Rhinoceros species alive today, the White Rhinoceros (also known as ‘Square-lipped Rhinoceros’) has the most social behavior. Whereas the other four Rhino species live in solitude and only temporarily visit each other during mating season, Square-lipped Rhinoceros live in small herds of adult cows and their young. As a rule, the cows in these herds are closely related. The bulls live alone and demarcate their territory by depositing dung piles along the borders as scent flags.

To ensure successful breeding of Square-lipped Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), it is beneficial, given their natural behavior and social group structure, for the animals to have plenty of space at their disposal, so that they can avoid each other or, on the contrary, visit each other. In Arnhem, the breeding bull lives a more or less solitary life, usually avoiding the company of the cows and their young. In the mating season, the bull will seek contact. Burgers’ Zoo has a fertile bull and two cows, both of which have given birth multiple times.

The White Rhinoceros consists of two subspecies: the Southern White Rhinoceros, with an estimated 19,682–21,077 wild-living animals in the year 2015, and the much more rare Northern White Rhinoceros. The northern subspecies has only two confirmed left in 2018 (two females; Fatu, 18 and Najin, 29), both in captivity. Sudan, the world's last known male Northern White Rhinoceros, died in Kenya on 19 March 2018.


Rhino Calf Makes Hesitant Debut at Lincoln Park Zoo

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The Eastern Black Rhinoceros calf at Lincoln Park Zoo had access to his outdoor habitat at Regenstein African Journey recently, making his zoo debut!

The calf appeared eager to explore the new sights, scents, and sounds, but was hesitant to explore his outdoor habitat. After a few steps, he ran back inside to be near his mother, Kapuki.

ZooBorns shared news of the new arrival in a previous feature: Black Rhino Boy Born at Lincoln Park Zoo. Since his birth on May 19, the calf and Kapuki (age 13) have been bonding behind the scenes at the zoo's Regenstein African Journey.

“The rhino calf has continually surpassed numerous milestones and is becoming inquisitive of his surroundings,” said Curator of Mammals Mike Murray. “It’s exciting to see that curiosity shine through as he begins to explore his outdoor habitat.”

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Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to rhino conservation and is home to three adult rhinos: Maku, Kapuki, and Ricko, along with its newest arrival.

“The Eastern Black Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan® (SSP) among accredited zoos is vitally important to this remarkable species, as numbers continue to dwindle in the wild due to poaching,” said Murray. “This calf not only represents hope for the species, but also serves as an ambassador for his wild counterparts.”

While the calf made his recent debut, rhino access to the outdoor habitat is weather dependent. For the health and safety of Kapuki and the calf, they will have the choice to explore their outdoor habitat if the weather is above 60 degrees, and dry, until the calf grows in size and strength. While the rhinos may have outdoor access, they may also choose to spend their time behind-the-scenes as they continue to adjust to the new changes.

Gestation for Eastern Black Rhinos is about 14-16 months with offspring weighing around 75 pounds at birth. Typically, Black Rhinos are a solitary species that only come together to breed. When full grown, Eastern Black Rhinos can stand up to 12 feet long and 5 feet tall at the shoulder, and can weigh up to 3,000 pounds. They are a critically endangered species due to poaching for their horns, which are believed to have medicinal benefits despite being made of keratin – the same material that makes up human hair and nails.

For more rhino updates, follow Lincoln Park Zoo’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels and #RhinoWatch, along with the zoo blog and ZooMail, a biweekly news digest.

For more information about the species and Lincoln Park Zoo’s rhino conservation efforts, visit lpzoo.org. Those interested in helping care for mom and calf all year long may ADOPT a black rhino at lpzoo.org/adopt.

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Black Rhino Boy Born at Lincoln Park Zoo

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After 15 months of gestation, Lincoln Park Zoo was excited to welcome a new arrival. On May 19, Kapuki, an Eastern Black Rhinoceros, gave birth to a healthy male calf at the zoo’s Regenstein African Journey. Since the birth, the calf has surpassed critical milestones, including: standing, nursing, pooping, and following mom, Kapuki.

The first days of a calf’s life are critical, and animal care staff are closely monitoring both Kapuki and the calf, around-the-clock, via remote camera system.

“As with any birth, we are cautiously optimistic about the latest arrival,” said Curator of Mammals Mike Murray. “However, this calf stood successfully at only 53 minutes of age and was nursing by hour two. He is growing in size and strength each day.”

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Thirteen-year-old Kapuki was recommended to breed with Maku, age 33, as part of the Eastern Black Rhinoceros Survival Plan® (SSP), a collaborative population management effort among Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions. Kapuki and Maku had previously been successful in producing offspring with the birth of King in 2013. As part of an SSP recommendation for the solitary species, King was transferred to Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo in November 2016.

Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to rhino conservation and is home to three adult rhinos: Maku, Kapuki, and Ricko, along with its newest arrival.

“Although the calf is adorable, its birth means so much more than that,” said Murray. “Three rhinos are poached in Africa each day for their horns. At this alarming rate, this new calf gives us hope for the sustainability of the species.”

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History-Making Rhino Calf Born at Zoo Miami

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After a 15-month pregnancy, Zoo Miami's seven-year-old Greater One Horned Indian Rhinoceros, Akuti, gave birth to a calf on April 23!

This is the second successful birth of this very rare species in the zoo’s history. However, what makes this birth truly historic is that it is the first successful birth of this species anywhere in recorded history to be the result of induced ovulation and artificial insemination!!

This is also the first baby for Akuti, whose name means “Princess” in Hindu. She was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in January of 2012 and arrived at Zoo Miami in February of 2016. The father is 18-year-old Suru, which means “a start” in Bengali. He was also born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and arrived at Zoo Miami in October of 2003.

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After several attempts at natural breeding with no success, a special team from the South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation (SEZARC), along with Dr. Monica Stoops from the Cincinnati Zoo, met at Zoo Miami to artificially collect semen from Suru on January 8, 2018, and then artificially inseminated Akuti on January 9, 2018. SEZARC is dedicated to increasing the populations of rare and endangered species through reproductive science and has worked with several zoos and aquariums around the country.

Once Zoo Miami keepers were able to confirm that Akuti had indeed conceived, she was trained to receive regular ultrasound examinations, which enabled zoo staff to closely monitor the development of the fetus. Because they knew the exact date of conception, they were able to accurately estimate the birthdate and for the last several days, Akuti has been under 24-hour observation awaiting this very exciting event.    

Initial indications are that the newborn is healthy and doing well, but more detailed information will not become available until the veterinary team is able to do a neonatal exam. This will be performed when the staff feels that it can safely separate the infant from its very protective mother for the few minutes that the exam will take. It is critical that the mother and newborn are able to establish a bond, which can sometimes be a challenge for first time mothers. Because of the extreme sensitivity of the situation, there will be no media access until zoo management has determined that everything is stable and the new mother and baby have been able to adjust. If everything goes well, it will probably be a few weeks until mom and baby are on public display.

There are currently less than 3,000 Indian Rhinos left in the wild, occurring in small protected areas of Nepal, India, and Assam. Over the years, they have been poached extensively for their horn, which is used for medicinal purposes and for dagger handles that are revered in some Asian cultures. They are the world’s fourth largest land mammal, sometimes reaching a weight of 6,000 pounds.

This very rare birth is not only significant for Zoo Miami, it is incredibly important to the international efforts to maintain a healthy population under human care of this highly vulnerable species throughout the world.  

More amazing pics below the fold!

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Chester Zoo's Top 10 Baby Animals of 2018

Conservationists at Chester Zoo have celebrated an unprecedented number of births in 2018, including some of the world’s rarest and most at-risk species.

1. Precious sun bear cub Kyra is first of her kind to be born in the UK (8)

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Adorable cub Kyra was the first Sun Bear to be born in the UK. Her birth was caught on the zoo’s CCTV cameras and people around the globe watched Kyra’s first moments with her mom. Kyra’s parents, Milli and Toni, were both rescued from poachers in Cambodia.    

Conservationists estimate that less than 1,000 Sun Bears remain in the wild across Southeast Asia. Deforestation and commercial hunting for their body parts have decimated their numbers.

2. Baby Stevie is the arrival of the decade… for Chester’s chimpanzees  (3)

Chimpanzee

Critically endangered Western Chimpanzee Stevie was the first of her kind to be born at Chester Zoo in nearly 10 years.

Stevie’s birth followed a scientific project, spanning several years, which carefully assessed the genetics of all Chimpanzees in zoos across Europe. The study confirmed that the troop of Chimps at Chester Zoo is the highly-threatened West African subspecies – one of the rarest in the world – establishing them as a critically important breeding population. It is estimated that as few as 18,000 West African Chimpanzees now remain in the wild.

3. Elephant calf Anjan astonishes scientists after being born three months after expected due date (2)

Asian Elephant

After an unusually long pregnancy believed to have lasted 25 months, Asian Elephant Thi Hi Way gave birth to a healthy male calf, who keepers named Anjan.

A major Chester Zoo project in Assam, northern India, has successfully found ways to eliminate conflict between local communities and the nearby Asian Elephant population, offering a blueprint for the future conservation of the species.

4. Greater one-horned rhino calf Akeno gives new hope to species (2)

Greater One-horned Rhino

The momentous birth of Greater One-horned Rhino calf Akeno, born to mom Asha, was captured on CCTV cameras at the zoo.

Keepers watched as Asha delivered her calf safely onto to soft bedding after a 16-month-long gestation and 20-minute labor.

At one stage, the Greater One-horned Rhino was hunted almost to extinction and less than 200 survived in the wild. Thankfully, steps to protect the Rhinos were taken just in time and today there are around 3,500 in India and Nepal.

5. Secretive okapi calf Semuliki is a star in stripes (2)

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A rare Okapi calf named Semuliki arrived to first-time parents K’tusha and Stomp. The Okapi is found only deep in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo and its highly secretive nature contributed to it being completely unknown to science until 1901.

Despite being a national symbol and protected under Congolese law, Okapi populations declined in the wild by nearly 50% over the past two decades and the species is now listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

6. Tiny forest dragons help uncover new information about the species (4)
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A clutch of rare baby  Bell’s Anglehead Lizards – also known as Borneo Forest Dragons – hatched at the zoo, helping conservationists uncover more about the species’ breeding patterns, life cycle and habits.

The Lizards’ wild south Asian habitat however, is being decimated to make way for unsustainable palm oil plantations – a threat which is pushing many species in the region to the very edge of existence.

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Silvery Gibbon

The birth of a tiny Silvery Gibbon astonished visitors to the zoo who were able to admire the infant just minutes after its birth. 

Conservationists hailed the arrival of this highly endangered primate, with just 4,000 of its kind now remaining on the island of Java, Indonesia, where the species is now listed as endangered by the IUCN.

8. Fluffy flamingo chicks are pretty in pink  (2)

Flamingos

Keepers were tickled pink by the arrival of 21 Flamingo chicks. Each of the fluffy newcomers was carefully hand fed by the zoo’s bird experts four times a day for five weeks until they were developed enough to fully feed for themselves.

Flamingo chicks are white or grey in color when they first hatch, resembling little balls of cotton wool, and begin to develop their famous pink plumage at around six months old.

9. Tiny babirusa triplets arrive in zoo ‘first’ (3)

Babirusa

The first set of Babirusa triplets were born at the zoo, a huge boost to the species which has experienced a recent population crash on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Once considered fairly common, the rapid decline comes as result of hunting for their meat and habitat loss, which has seen Babirusas disappear from many parts of the island.

10. Black rhino birth a surprise to visitors  (5)

Eastern Black Rhino

The arrival of Jumaane, a rare Eastern Black Rhino calf, left a handful of lucky zoo visitors in shock as his birth took place right in front of them.

Conservationists now estimate that fewer than 650 Eastern Black Rhino remain across Africa – a staggeringly low number driven by an increase in poaching to meet demand for rhino horn, which supplies the traditional Asian medicine market.

The birth of Jumaane is another vital boost to the Europe-wide breeding program which is crucial for the conservation of this critically endangered species.


Zoo Berlin's Baby Rhino Makes Her Debut

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On September 22, on World Rhino Day, 16-year-old Black Rhinoceros Maburi gave birth to a female calf at Zoo Berlin. Then, after spending about three weeks in the barn bonding with her mother, the little girl stepped confidently into the Rhino yard on October 12.

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Spitzmaulnashorn Maburi mit Jungtier_Zoo Berlin_2018Photo Credit: Zoo Berlin

Black Rhinos are born without horns, but you can already see two bumps on the calf’s snout. Her horns, which are made of the same material as human hair and fingernails, will gradually grow from these spots. Rhinos take about five to seven years to fully mature, and Maburi’s calf will nurse for about two years. Leaves, twigs, and vegetables will gradually be introduced to the calf’s diet.

The calf has not yet been named, but the zoo is accepting name suggestions on their Facebook page.  

Zoo Berlin has a long history of caring for and breeding Black Rhinos, with 20 calves born over the years. Black Rhinos are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their numbers have dwindled to just a few thousand, and they survive mainly in southern and eastern Africa.

There are seven to eight subspecies of Black Rhino, and three of those subspecies have become extinct in the last 150 years; a fourth is precariously close to extinction. Rhinos are illegally poached for their horns, which are thought to have medicinal properties and spiritual powers, all of which are unproven. Even Rhinos under armed protection have been poached, highlighting the difficulty of advancing conservation goals amid the potential for illicit economic gains.


Sixth Southern White Rhino Birth at ZooTampa

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Celebrations are taking place at ZooTampa at Lowry Park’s Southern White Rhinoceros’ habitat. Mother Alake gave birth to a calf on September 12, marking the sixth successful Southern White Rhino birth and ninth Rhino in the Zoo’s history.

After bonding with mom, the calf will be introduced to the rest of the herd. As the herd grows, animal care professionals continue to deliver high-quality care for the Rhinos’ physical health and well-being.

“ZooTampa is deeply committed to the species’ continued survival, both at home and beyond. “Every birth brings hope to the continued conservation of this incredible species.” said Chris Massaro, General Curator at ZooTampa.

The Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Rhino Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), which includes the Southern White Rhino Species Survival Plan (SSP). Over the past 20 years, ZooTampa has contributed $100,000 to conservation projects, such as anti-poaching and habitat repair and restoration efforts in Africa.

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The majority of Southern White Rhinos (Ceratotherium simum simum) live in just four countries in Africa: Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Their unique body is characterized by a pronounced hump and two horns at the ends of its muzzle, used to defend against its predators and establish social dominance.

This birth is a welcome addition to the population of wildlife that relies on human care. Record numbers of rhinos have been killed by poachers due to the high demand for keratin, a protein found in rhino horn that is believed to have medicinal properties.

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Summer Baby Boom at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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There’s been a late summer baby boom at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, eliciting lots of “oohs and aahs” from visitors of all ages.

Among the new baby animals that can be seen at the Park, there’s a Greater One-horned Rhino calf, named Tio, who was born on July 9 to mom, Tanaya.

Also, a male Giraffe calf, named Kumi, was born August 6, and a handsome male African Elephant was born August 12 and has been named Umzula-zuli.

A young Scimitar Horned Oryx can be seen sticking close to his mom at the Park, and a one-month-old Grevy’s Zebra foal enjoys sunning with mom.

San Diego Safari Park visitors may see the baby animals and all the Safari Park has to offer from an African Tram Safari, a Caravan Safari or private Cart Safari.

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Since 1969, more than 37,600 animals have been born at the Safari Park, including 23,000 mammals, 12,800 birds, 1,500 amphibians and 40 reptiles. The Safari Park’s successful breeding programs help conserve numerous species, many of which are threatened or endangered, like the Scimitar Horned Oryx.

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