Rhino

With the Birth of an Indian Rhino, Zoo Basel Tries a New Approach

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At Zoo Basel in Switzerland, an Indian Rhinoceros gave birth during the night on October 5. The calf, a boy, was given the name Kiran, a Hindi word for 'sunrise'. Kiran is nursing well and bonding well with his mother, 31-year-old Ellora. On his first day, Kiran weighed 150 pounds (68 kg) and stood just over two feet (66 cm) tall. 

Kiran's 3-year-old sister, Henna, was also present for the birth. This was the first time in a European zoo that a Rhinoceros birth has taken place in the presence of an older sibling, as it occurs in nature. Usually, older siblings are moved to a different location when a Rhino is giving birth in captivity, to help ensure the safety of the newborn. Henna was a bit uneasy with the unfamiliar new arrangement, but it didn't take too long for her to adapt. The three now spend most of their time together in the Rhino barn, although Kiran has started to take his first steps outside.

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Photo credits: Zoo Basel

Also out-of-the-ordinary, Ellora also had the freedom to chose where she wanted to give within her habitat. The experienced mom made a good decision, chosing the private shelter of the barn. Kiran is Ellora's eighth calf, and the 34th baby Rhinoceros born at Basel Zoo since 1956 birth of Rudra, the first Rhino ever to be born in a zoo. Since 1990, Basel Zoo has coordinated the European Endangered Species Program for Rhinos, an international effort to coordinate the breeding of healthy Rhinos in zoos. 

The Indian Rhino, also called the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros, lives in the riverine grasslands and forests of India and Nepal.  According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, the Indian Rhino is a vulnerable species. Though strictly protected, Zoo Basel notes that poaching has increased in recent years. The zoo supports the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 project in Assam, India, a site dedicated to the conservation of the species. 


Lincoln Park Zoo Celebrates Birth of Endangered Eastern Black Rhino

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60 pounds, 30 inches (27 kg, 76 cm): Not your average measurements for a newborn.  But when you’re dealing with a baby Eastern Black Rhino, it’s fair to expect things to be a bit outsized. The 'little' rhino, a boy, was born August 26 at Lincoln Park Zoo in Illinois. He’s the first offspring for 8-year-old mom Kapuki and 27-year-old dad Maku and the first rhinoceros born at the zoo since 1989. Right now he’s growing behind the scenes, where animal care staff are keeping a close watch as the baby bonds with mom.

“Mother and baby are both doing wonderfully,” says Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout. “The calf divides his time between nursing, following mom around, and napping, and that is exactly what a baby rhino should be doing.”

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Photo credits: Lincoln Park Zoo

Watch a video of mother and calf:

 

The new arrival is a welcome addition for a species that’s facing a conservation crisis in the wild. Black Rhinos are critically endangered and were nearly driven to extinction in the 1990s. Their wild population is currently estimated at 5,055 individuals. Although these creatures are protected, they are still killed illegally for their horns, which are used in folk medicines. 

Rhinos are naturally solitary—and territorial—animals, coming together only for brief intervals to breed. Introductions need to be carefully timed to the female's estrus so that she will be receptive to the male’s approach. The pairing of Kapuki with Maku was recommended by the Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding and management strategy overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“This birth is cause for great celebration here at Lincoln Park Zoo and has been much anticipated,” says Kamhout. “The gestational period for rhinos is 15-16 months, and they have incredibly small windows for conception. Together with the zoo’s endocrinologists, we worked to pinpoint the exact window for Kapuki and Maku to get together for breeding. The whole zoo family is delighted at this successful outcome.”

So, how exactly do you pinpoint the right time? See and read more after the fold!

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Australia Zoo's Rhino Calf is a Big Boy

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The Australia Zoo welcomed a 150 pound (70 kg) Southern White Rhinoceros calf on May 4. The male baby is steadily gaining weight and now weighs more than 220 pounds (100 kg).

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Photo Credit:  Australia Zoo



The calf was born to parents DJ and Caballe, and is the third Rhino to be born at Australia Zoo. He joins half siblings Mango, born in February, and Savannah, born in 2011. The entire Rhino family can be seen in the zoo’s African Exhibit.

Southern White Rhinos are the most numerous of all Rhino subspecies, with more than 17,000 individuals living in southern Africa. They breed readily in captivity and have been reintroduced into protected areas in southern Africa.


Rare Black Rhino Born at Zoo Krefeld

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In Germany, Zoo Krefeld's Black Rhino couple, Nane and Usoni, gave birth to their fourth baby on July 13. The baby, whose gender is unknown, weighs almost 30 kg, or about 66 pounds. Zoo Krefeld is one of only five zoos in Germany that successfully breed the rare species.

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Black Rhinos, also known as hook-lipped Rhinos, are native to central and eastern Africa. They are one of the largest species of Rhinos, with horns reaching up to 5 feet in length. Despite the name, Black Rhinos generally have light gray or white skin. The species is currently listed as Critically Endangered and is considered to be on the brink of extinction in the wild.

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Photo Credit; 1,4,6,8 Hella Hallman; 2,3,5,7,9 Zoo Krefeld


White Rhino Calf is a First for the Cotswold Wildlife Park

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The first day of the month of July brought a different kind of first for the Cotswold Wildlife Park in the UK. The Park welcomed its very first White Rhino calf in the early hours of the morning. The calf was born to first time parents Nancy and Monty. The family has remained in good health for the first few weeks of the calf's life.

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Parents Monty and Nancy are seven years old. Nancy joined the Park in 2009 from the Mafunyane Game Farm in South Africa. It was hoped that one day, Nancy and Month would successfully breed and produce the Park's first ever White Rhino calf.

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White Rhinos were once the rarest of the five subspecies of Rhinos and were on the verge of extinction in the 1900s. Thanks to conservation efforts, the White Rhino is now the most common of the five subspecies. However, poaching has escalated to serious levels in the past three years due to a demand for rhino horn in market of traditional medicine in Asia.

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Photo credits: Cotswold WIldlife Park 


Rhino Calf Welcomed at Allwetter Zoo

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One and a half years ago, Jane, a 13-year-old Southern White Rhinoceros, came to the Allwetter Zoo in Münster, Germany from the Scottish Blair Drummond Safari Park and was introduced to the zoo’s bull Rhino, Harry.  The two Rhinos got along well and after a 16 month gestation, Jane delivered her first calf, a male, on May 23.

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Photo Credits: Allwetter Zoo

Jane was showing signs of labor early in the morning on that day, so the staff closed the Rhino house to visitors.  To give Jane privacy, the staff watched Jane throughout the day on security cameras that were installed for this exact purpose.  The actual birth process only took about ten minutes.  Jane encouraged her newborn to stand, and he soon was nursing. 

The calf sleeps a lot, but seems to enjoy rustling in the thick bed of straw in the Rhino stall.  Jane is an excellent mother, and follows her new baby like a hawk. 

Southern White Rhinos are the most abundant of all Rhino species, but they are still threatened by poaching for their horns, which are used in traditional medicine.

See more photos of the Rhino calf below the fold.

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A Happy Mother's Day for an Indian Rhino

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Mother’s Day Came early for an endangered Indian Rhinoceros at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. On May 9th—one day before her own birthday, and three days before Mother’s Day—an Indian Rhinoceros named Jamie gave birth to a male calf. The new calf has been given the Indian name Jiyu, meaning “compassionate friend”, by the Zoo’s Asian animal care team. Mother and calf are spending time together off exhibit for the newborn’s safety and for privacy in bonding. After some heavy rains, the two-week old calf loves playing outside in mud puddles.

“This calf represents our third successful offspring in support of the Indian Rhino management program in North America,” says Dr. Larry Killmar, the Zoo’s vice president of animal science. Jamie’s first offspring, a female named Jaya born in 2009, now resides at Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Wichita and the second offspring, a male named Jahi born in 2011, now resides at Central Florida Zoo in Sanford. All three calves were sired by a male rhino named Arjun.

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Photo credits: Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo / David Parkinson 

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Indian Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), designed to support the conservation of select wildlife species at risk of extinction. Counting the new male calf, there are just fifty four Indian rhinos in AZA-accredited institutions, with an estimated wild population of no more than 2,850.

Learn and see more after the fold!

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White Rhino Calf is a Precious Surprise for Taronga Western Plains Zoo

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A year ago, staff at Taronga Western Plains Zoo grieved for the loss of four White Rhinos that had contracted an illness. But this year on May 14th, staff arrived to find a wonderful early morning surprise. Mopani, the only female White Rhino to survive the illness, had given birth to a little male. Only hours old, the calf was still a bit wobbly on his feet as the news spread around the zoo.

“Mopani is an amazing animal, having actually contracted the illness last year whilst carrying her calf. To come through that and give birth to this healthy calf is just remarkable,” said Senior White Rhino Keeper, Pascale Benoit. “Everyone is just over the moon with the arrival of the White Rhino calf."

Mopani, a gentle and caring first-time mother, is doing her job well. The calf will nurse from his mother for two years until he is weaned. While the male rhinos do not take part in raising the young, the father Umfana also deserves congratulations, as this is his third calf and second male.

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Photo credits: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

See a video the little male calf and his mother: 

See and learn more after the fold.

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Romping Rhino Calf Arrives at Dublin Zoo

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Dublin Zoo is celebrating one of its most exciting arrivals of 2013: a male Southern White Rhinoceros calf. The calf, who is yet to be named, was born to mother Ashanti on April 26 and weighs approximately 110 pounds (50 kg). 

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Photo Credit:  Dublin Zoo

The newborn is Ashanti’s third calf and is another significant success for the European Endangered Species Programme established to assist the survival of the near threatened Southern White Rhinoceros.

Scientists estimate that only 20,000 Southern White Rhinos exist in the wilds of South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.  They have been reintroduced into some areas where they had been eliminated.  The most significant threat to Rhinos is poaching:  Rhinos are killed for their horns, which are used in traditional medicine.

See more photos of the Dublin Zoo's Rhino calf below the fold.

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White Rhino Calf Charges In at Colchester Zoo

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After a 16 month wait, the Colchester Zoo announced the birth of a female Southern White Rhinoceros calf to female Rhino Emily on April 13.

This is the first Rhino calf to be born through a natural mating at Colchester Zoo and is the first calf for Emily and male Rhino Otto. Curator Sarah Forsyth said, “Emily is proving to be a very protective but excellent mother and the calf is very healthy and already building a close relationship with her keepers.”

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Photo Credits:  Colchester Zoo

 

Zoo keeper Jo Row expressed the excitement of the staff. “This birth is brilliant news not just for Colchester Zoo but also for conservation. It is a great privilege to be a part of the life of this new arrival and we look forward to watching baby develop and grow!”

The calf, which has not yet been named, will be on display for only short periods each day until she is introduced to the other members of the zoo’s Rhino herd.  She will not be mixed with her father, Otto, for 4-6 months.

See more photos below the fold.

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