Early yesterday morning, after a nearly 16 month pregnancy, “Kalu,” an 11 year old Indian one horned Rhinoceros, gave birth at Zoo Miami. This is the first ever successful birth of this highly endangered species for Zoo Miami and in fact, in the history of all South Florida zoos.
Kalu was born at the Bronx Zoo on December 22, 2000 and arrived at Zoo Miami as part of a breeding loan on June 10, 2004. The father’s name is “Suru” and he was born at the San Diego Wild Animal Park on December 31, 2000. He arrived at Zoo Miami on October 19, 2003 as part of a breeding loan with the San Francisco Zoo. This is the first offspring for both individuals.
There are 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.
More photos below the fold...