White Rhino Legacy Continues at the Wilds

Rhino (White) Calf 3749 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

A male Southern White Rhino was born at the Wilds, in Ohio, on November 12th.  He is the first fifth-generation White Rhino, on record, to be born outside of Africa.

Rhino (White) Calf 3778 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Rhino (White) Calf 3771 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Rhino (White) Calf 3696 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and AquariumPhoto Credits: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center in Southeast Ohio, produced the first fourth-generation White Rhino outside of Africa in 2009, and remains the only facility to produce fourth-generation calves; seven have been born to date.

“The birth of fourth and now fifth-generation White Rhinos in human care is a remarkable achievement,” said President/CEO Tom Stalf. “We attribute this success to our expansive habitats and large herds that allow for natural social behavior, as well as the specialized care they receive from our dedicated team.”

This is the first calf for ‘Anan’, whose birth was also notable since she was the first fourth-generation rhino born at the Wilds. The calf’s father is ‘Fireball’, who was born in 2002 and arrived at the Wilds in 2008. Before leaving for another zoo in 2013, as part of the Species Survival Plan, Fireball sired ten calves while at the Wilds. 

This is the 16th White Rhino born at the Wilds; the conservation center has also produced five Asian One-Horned Rhinos.

“The calf appears to be doing well, but the first few weeks are always a critical time for any newborn,” said Dan Beetem, Director of Animal Management. “They will spend the winter inside our Rhino Management Center and move into our open pastures in the spring.”

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One-Horned Rhino Calf Born at the Wilds

Rhino calf at the Wilds 004, Jeff Hammer

The Wilds, in Ohio, welcomed a Greater One-Horned Asian Rhinoceros, also known as an Indian rhino, on August 30th. The calf was born out in pasture with the rest of the herd and is the sixth One-Horned Rhino born at the Wilds.

Rhino calf at the Wilds 001, Jeff Hammer

Rhino calf at the Wilds 003, Jeff Hammer

Rhino calf at the Wilds 006, Jeff HammerPhoto Credits: Jeff Hammer

Dan Beetem, Director of Animal Management, said, “We had been watching the mother very closely over the past week. Her udder development and behavior told us the birth was imminent; however there are several good hiding places across 100 acres. The calf is doing well and already enjoys swimming in the lake with mom.”

The Greater One-Horned Rhino calf, whose sex has yet to be determined, marks the continued success of the One-Horned Rhino breeding program at the Wilds conservation center located in southeast Ohio.

The calf is the third for 15-year-old dam, Sanya, and the third for 11-year-old sire, Rustum.  Rustum came to the Wilds in 2007 as part of a group imported by the Zoological Society of San Diego to bring new genetics into the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) program.

Born after a gestation of nearly 16 months, One-Horned Rhinos can grow to be 4,800 pounds and six feet tall at the shoulder. Their range is the plains or woodlands of northern India, Bhutan and Nepal.

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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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Twin Cheetah Cubs Await Names


The Wilds in Ohio just finished their naming contest for their twin cheetah cubs, one male and one female, born on Octotber 31 to mom Tabu. We hear they are down to 4-6 sets of names but thought you'd like to see these babies as they decide. This is the second litter for Tabu but the first she is raising on her own. She's doing a great job, and has been very protective of her two little cubs.

Female cheetahs typically bear three to five cubs in a litter and the cubs stay with their mothers until they are 12 to 20 months old. A full-grown adult cheetah weighs between 86 and 143 pounds. Cheetahs live and hunt in open grasslands and bushy areas in parts of Africa and the Middle East. They are the fastest land mammals, reaching speeds of 60 to 70 miles an hour over short distances. 

Cheetahs are included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of vulnerable species (African subspecies threatened, Asiatic subspecies in critical situation) as well as on the US Endangered Species Act: threatened species. Today there are just 12,400 cheetahs remaining in the wild, and the biggest population is currently located in Namibia with about 2,500 individuals. Asiatic subspecies is critically endangered counting only fifty to sixty individuals that still have their habitats in Iran.



Photo Credit: The Wilds


An Armful of Cheetah Cubs at the Wilds

Cheetahs have been born at the the Wilds conservation center for the first time in the center’s history.  The first litter was born on October 20. Wilds' staff monitoring the female by video observed five-year-old “Kenji” leaving the cubs shortly after they were born and could see that one of the cubs was still wet and noticeably weaker.  Because the mother showed no interest in returning to the three cubs, the decision was made to hand-rear them. The second litter was born yesterday, October 28, and the three cubs are currently being cared for by five-year-old “Kamaria”. The Wilds is located in Cumberland, Ohio.  

Wilds Cheetah Cubs 20 - G. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Cheetah Cub Columbus Zoo Getting a BottlePhoto credits: Grahm Jones / Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

”Everyone at the Wilds is very excited about the new cubs.  Our whole team has put a lot of effort into making this program a success,” said Dan Beetem, Director of Animal Management.  “At the same time, we are being very cautious.  Newborn cubs can be very fragile and we have to monitor their progress one day at a time.  We hope that these cubs will survive and go on to be future breeders for the managed population."The breeding of these endangered cats at the Wilds was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for cheetahs.  

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