Two More Rhino Calves Bolster Conservation Efforts


The Wilds conservation center welcomed two Rhinoceros calves this fall! Born within one month of one another, each young Rhino is actually a separate species. The Greater One-horned Rhinoceros (a.k.a. the Indian Rhino) was born Oct. 14, 2012 (pictured above and last), following shortly after the arrival of a Southern White Rhinoceros born Sept. 28, 2012 (pictured second).


Photo credit: The Wilds

The fourth Greater One-horned Rhino born at the Wilds, marks the continuing success of this southeast Ohio conservation center's breeding program. This is the second calf for dam "Sanya" and the first for sire "Rustum". "Rustum" is part of a group brought from India by the San Diego Zoo in 2007 to bolster the genetics of the U.S. one-horned Rhino population.

“Rustum came to us as a young male and took some time to mature. It is exciting to see that his bloodline will now be represented in the North American Rhino population,” said Director of Animal Management Dan Beetem.

Nineteen-year-old “Julie,” the Wilds oldest female Southern White Rhino, gave birth to her fifth calf on Sept. 28, 2012. The sire, 9-year-old “Fireball,” came to the Wilds in 2008 as part of the Southern White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP). The calf is the twelfth Southern White Rhino born at the Wilds.

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White Rhino calf travels cross-country to new home


A male Southern White Rhinoceros calf born on an unusually cold night at Florida's White Oak Conservation Center is now being hand-reared by the staff at New Mexico's ABQ BioPark, thanks to a unique arrangement between the two facilities. 

After the baby was born in Florida on October 30, the White Oak staff observed that the 169-pound calf was slow to start nursing and did not establish a strong bond with his mother, so they decided to hand-rear the calf. 

Because the calf’s father is Bully, a male Rhino sent from the BioPark on a special loan to White Oak, the calf belongs to the BioPark.  White Oak Conservation Center partners with zoos to conserve threatened species through breeding and other programs.





The calf is bottle-fed a mixture of skim and 1% cow's milk with extra dextrose and vitamins added. This formula mimics the very sweet, low-fat milk of Rhino mothers. The baby Rhino is hand-fed around the clock, every 3-4 hours, at the BioPark.

"We are pleased that Albuquerque can offer a good home to this Rhino calf," said Mayor Richard J. Berry, shown feeding the calf in the photo above. "We know that our Zoo will give him top-notch care, and what a great treat for families to watch this little guy grow up."

"The calf is very playful and rambunctious," said Zoo Manager Lynn Tupa, who traveled with the two-week-old calf from Florida. "He did great during the trip, and we enjoyed getting to know him. He loves his fuzzy blankets, which he rolls around on and drags with him."

The calf's first few months at the BioPark will be spent behind-the-scenes as he gets accustomed to staff and the three adult Rhinos Bertha, Lulu and Bernie.

The Southern White Rhinonoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum), native to southern Africa, is the world’s third largest land animal, but nearly became extinct in the early 1900s, when hunting reduced the White Rhino population to 100 animals. Today, there are more than 20,000 individuals. Conservation efforts such as captive breeding have been an integral part of this success story. Zoos and other facilities have been able to provide social, open spaces for Rhino groups to breed and thrive. Unfortunately, poaching for Rhino horns continues to threaten the future of the species.

Photo Credit:  ABQ BioPark

Indian Rhinoceros Born: It's A Girl!


In the wee hours of November 3rd, a bouncing bundle of joy was delivered at Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands. Indian Rhino Mom "Namaste" gave birth to a happy, healthy female calf. The yet-to-be named baby Rhino was walking and drinking milk within 30 minutes of her birth. Namaste is an experienced mom and has given birth to 5 babies so far. Indian Rhinoceroses are threatened by illegal poaching. Today they can only be found in some nature reserves in Northern India and Nepal.




Photo credit: Shirley Kroos (1-3) Rob Doorland (4)

Busch Gardens Welcomes Baby White Rhino

Rhino mom CU

On October 23, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a baby White Rhinoceros. The female Rhino, who has yet to be named, was born at the 26-acre White Rhino habitat on Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Plain. This is the second calf born to mother Kisiri and the seventh for father Tambo. She weighed an estimated 140 pounds at the time of the birth, and will gain approximately four pounds each day until she reaches an adult weight of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 pounds.

Fewer than 15,000 white rhinos remain in the wild, and approximately 200 live in zoological facilities across North America. Busch Gardens participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure genetic diversification among threatened and endangered animals in zoological facilities.  Busch Gardens has celebrated a total of seven White Rhino births since October 2004, and this birth brings the total white and black rhino population there to eight.

Kisiri, Tambo and another female white rhino were airlifted from Kruger National Park in South Africa in 2001 through the efforts of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of rhinos. 

Rhino nurse

Rhino side

Rhino shy

Rhino 1

Photo Credits: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

With Only 600 Remaining In the Wild, A Baby Black Rhino Bolsters Captive Population


Chester Zoo has welcomed a very important baby - a Black Rhino calf. She may not have a name yet but she does have an important role to play as the two-week-old is another step towards sustaining a Black Rhino population which, in the wild, has been ravaged by poachers.

Keeper Helen Massey said, "She's a very attentive mum. She is doing everything right and both her and her calf seem very, very happy.” The birth brings the number of critically-endangered Black Rhinos housed by the zoo to eight. Mrs Massey added, "Black rhino face a very real threat of extinction and so every birth is vital to ensure their survival.



Photo credit: Chester Zoo

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Rare Rhino Baby Receives Her Name


The first Greater One-horned Rhinoceros born in Texas now has a name: Asha. More than 3,300 Fort Worth Zoo Facebook fans chose from the five names selected by Zoo staff that reflected the baby Rhino’s personality and heritage. Asha, Nepalese for “hope,” was the front-runner from the start, receiving more than half of the total votes.

Carrie Shiflet Ferguson was chosen as the grand prize winner of the naming contest. She was chosen randomly among the Facebook fans who voted for the winning name, and will receive a greater one-horned rhino adoption package and a family four-pack of admission tickets to the Fort Worth Zoo.





Photo credit: Fort Worth Zoo


Asha, born August 16, 2012, has joined mother Shanti and sire Arun in the Fort Worth Zoo’sAsian Falls exhibit. The Greater One-horned Rhino is one of 43 endangered species at the Fort Worth Zoo. The Zoo’s greater One-horned Rhinos are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan, a program created to manage a sustainable population of endangered species in AZA zoos. The International Rhino Foundation lists the greater one-horned rhino as endangered.

Preemie White Rhino Baby Catches Keepers By Surprise

Rhino Calf at Burgers Zoo 1

Keepers at The Netherlands' Burgers' Zoo were surprised by the early birth of a baby White Rhino on Saturday. 12-year-old female, Kwanzaa, and her new calf Vince are stable and healthy, according to zoo officials. Of the five rhino species in existence, White Rhinoceros are the most social. They are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.



Photo credit: Burger's Zoo


Baby Rhino Born at Pittsburgh Zoo - the First in Forty-five Years

Rhino 1

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is celebrating some big news! For the first time in over 45 years there, a baby Black Rhinoceros was born to mom Azizi. The female calf weighs about 70 pounds and appears to be doing very well.“We are so excited to welcome a big, beautiful, bouncing, female rhino,” says Dr. Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “The birth of a Black Rhino is significant because they are critically endangered and Azizi’s calf will introduce new blood lines into the zoo population.”

There are 4,800 Black Rhinoceroses left in the wild. Between 1970 and 1992, the Black Rhino population decreased by 96% — the most dramatic of all Rhino species. Black Rhino populations are recovering slowly despite intensive efforts to end poaching, the biggest threat to animals worldwide. Mom and baby will not be on exhibit for the public until after they have had the appropriate amount of time to bond, and until the weather and temperature conditions are ideal for this African native. Visitors are asked to check the Zoo’s website and social media sites for details of when baby will be viewable.


Rhino 2
Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Keepers noticed Azizi was acting differently last week. She started pacing and appeared uncomfortable. “At one point she put her feet on her water trough and was stretching,” says Dr. Baker.

“Labor lasted roughly 50 minutes with no complications,” says Dr. Ginger Takle, director of animal health. “We wanted to be close in case Azizi should need us, but she did very well for a first time mom. Keepers and zoo veterinary staff monitored the birth nearby, but out of sight to allow for a natural delivery. The baby was nursing within two hours of her birth. Nursing is an important first step in bonding with mom. Calves gain about 30 pounds each week from the nutrients in the mother’s milk.

Dr. Takle added, “It is important for the calf to continue to nurse and gain weight especially during the first three months which are critical. As she continues to grow, we will begin to introduce solid food at about one month of age, starting with alfalfa and sweet potatoes.”

A Quick and Easy Birth For Third-time Rhino Mom


This past Monday, Zoo Basel welcomed the arrival of a baby Indian Rhino. The birth was so quick, keepers named the baby Jarj (Nepalese for "instantly"). The calf was strong and vivacious from the start and immediately stood up to begin drinking his mother's milk.

This endangered species is threatened in the wild by poaching, and Zoo Basel coordinates the European Endangered Species Program (EEP) for Indian Rhinos. Jarj is the third calf for mother Quetta and the 33rd Indian Rhino to be born at Zoo Basel.






Photo credit: Zoo Basel

Help Name This Baby Eastern Black Rhino


A Eastern Black Rhinoceros calf was born on July 1 at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and it's a boy! The calf weighed about 80 pounds (36 kg) at birth and is growing fast. In just four weeks he now tips the scales at about 150 pounds (68 kg). When fully grown he will weigh about 3,000 pounds or 1360 kg! Animal keepers will give mother and baby time to bond and hope they can be put on exhibit shortly in the Zoo’s African Savanna. 

The Zoo hopes the public will help name the calf by visiting clemetzoo.com and voting through August 9 for their favorite potential rhino name. Tthe winning name will be revealed on August 10.

The Eastern Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli) is classified as “Critically Endangered” in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the primary organization for quantifying conservation assessment efforts.  The IUCN estimates there are less than 1,000 of this rhino subspecies left in the wild, concentrated primarily in Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has been very successful in breeding Eastern Black Rhinos as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Program; this is the fifth successful rhino birth at the Zoo since 2000. 




Photo Credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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