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First Baby Black Rhino in 20 Years for St. Louis

Mom and calf nuzzle muzzle to muzzle

On January 14th, the St. Louis Zoo welcomed its first Black Rhinoceros calf in 20 years to first-time parents, mother Kati Rain and father Ajabu. Weighing in at a dainty 120-1/2 pounds, the little male is nursing well and being cared for by his mother, according to Zoo staff. The Black Rhino has experienced the most drastic decline of any rhino species. In 1970, it was thought there were about 65,000 black rhinos in Africa. By 1993, there were only 2,300 survivors in the wild. Black rhinos are heavily poached, because it is thought in many Asian countries that the rhino horn has medicinal uses.

Black Rhino calf explores at the St. Louis Zoo 3

Mom imparts important rhino wisdom to juniorPhoto credits: St. Louis Zoo

The Saint Louis Zoo’s black rhinos are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Black Rhino Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black rhinos in North American zoos. Currently there are 60 black rhinos in 38 institutions.

More pictures below the fold

Black Rhino calf takes a peek at the St. Louis Zoo 1

Black Rhino calf sticks close to mom at St. Louis Zoo 4b