Rhino

Rhino Calf Makes Hesitant Debut at Lincoln Park Zoo

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The Eastern Black Rhinoceros calf at Lincoln Park Zoo had access to his outdoor habitat at Regenstein African Journey recently, making his zoo debut!

The calf appeared eager to explore the new sights, scents, and sounds, but was hesitant to explore his outdoor habitat. After a few steps, he ran back inside to be near his mother, Kapuki.

ZooBorns shared news of the new arrival in a previous feature: Black Rhino Boy Born at Lincoln Park Zoo. Since his birth on May 19, the calf and Kapuki (age 13) have been bonding behind the scenes at the zoo's Regenstein African Journey.

“The rhino calf has continually surpassed numerous milestones and is becoming inquisitive of his surroundings,” said Curator of Mammals Mike Murray. “It’s exciting to see that curiosity shine through as he begins to explore his outdoor habitat.”

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3_20190618_CB_rhino first day out-4Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to rhino conservation and is home to three adult rhinos: Maku, Kapuki, and Ricko, along with its newest arrival.

“The Eastern Black Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan® (SSP) among accredited zoos is vitally important to this remarkable species, as numbers continue to dwindle in the wild due to poaching,” said Murray. “This calf not only represents hope for the species, but also serves as an ambassador for his wild counterparts.”

While the calf made his recent debut, rhino access to the outdoor habitat is weather dependent. For the health and safety of Kapuki and the calf, they will have the choice to explore their outdoor habitat if the weather is above 60 degrees, and dry, until the calf grows in size and strength. While the rhinos may have outdoor access, they may also choose to spend their time behind-the-scenes as they continue to adjust to the new changes.

Gestation for Eastern Black Rhinos is about 14-16 months with offspring weighing around 75 pounds at birth. Typically, Black Rhinos are a solitary species that only come together to breed. When full grown, Eastern Black Rhinos can stand up to 12 feet long and 5 feet tall at the shoulder, and can weigh up to 3,000 pounds. They are a critically endangered species due to poaching for their horns, which are believed to have medicinal benefits despite being made of keratin – the same material that makes up human hair and nails.

For more rhino updates, follow Lincoln Park Zoo’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels and #RhinoWatch, along with the zoo blog and ZooMail, a biweekly news digest.

For more information about the species and Lincoln Park Zoo’s rhino conservation efforts, visit lpzoo.org. Those interested in helping care for mom and calf all year long may ADOPT a black rhino at lpzoo.org/adopt.

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Black Rhino Boy Born at Lincoln Park Zoo

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After 15 months of gestation, Lincoln Park Zoo was excited to welcome a new arrival. On May 19, Kapuki, an Eastern Black Rhinoceros, gave birth to a healthy male calf at the zoo’s Regenstein African Journey. Since the birth, the calf has surpassed critical milestones, including: standing, nursing, pooping, and following mom, Kapuki.

The first days of a calf’s life are critical, and animal care staff are closely monitoring both Kapuki and the calf, around-the-clock, via remote camera system.

“As with any birth, we are cautiously optimistic about the latest arrival,” said Curator of Mammals Mike Murray. “However, this calf stood successfully at only 53 minutes of age and was nursing by hour two. He is growing in size and strength each day.”

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4_20190524_CB_rhino-8Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

Thirteen-year-old Kapuki was recommended to breed with Maku, age 33, as part of the Eastern Black Rhinoceros Survival Plan® (SSP), a collaborative population management effort among Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions. Kapuki and Maku had previously been successful in producing offspring with the birth of King in 2013. As part of an SSP recommendation for the solitary species, King was transferred to Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo in November 2016.

Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to rhino conservation and is home to three adult rhinos: Maku, Kapuki, and Ricko, along with its newest arrival.

“Although the calf is adorable, its birth means so much more than that,” said Murray. “Three rhinos are poached in Africa each day for their horns. At this alarming rate, this new calf gives us hope for the sustainability of the species.”

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History-Making Rhino Calf Born at Zoo Miami

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After a 15-month pregnancy, Zoo Miami's seven-year-old Greater One Horned Indian Rhinoceros, Akuti, gave birth to a calf on April 23!

This is the second successful birth of this very rare species in the zoo’s history. However, what makes this birth truly historic is that it is the first successful birth of this species anywhere in recorded history to be the result of induced ovulation and artificial insemination!!

This is also the first baby for Akuti, whose name means “Princess” in Hindu. She was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in January of 2012 and arrived at Zoo Miami in February of 2016. The father is 18-year-old Suru, which means “a start” in Bengali. He was also born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and arrived at Zoo Miami in October of 2003.

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After several attempts at natural breeding with no success, a special team from the South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation (SEZARC), along with Dr. Monica Stoops from the Cincinnati Zoo, met at Zoo Miami to artificially collect semen from Suru on January 8, 2018, and then artificially inseminated Akuti on January 9, 2018. SEZARC is dedicated to increasing the populations of rare and endangered species through reproductive science and has worked with several zoos and aquariums around the country.

Once Zoo Miami keepers were able to confirm that Akuti had indeed conceived, she was trained to receive regular ultrasound examinations, which enabled zoo staff to closely monitor the development of the fetus. Because they knew the exact date of conception, they were able to accurately estimate the birthdate and for the last several days, Akuti has been under 24-hour observation awaiting this very exciting event.    

Initial indications are that the newborn is healthy and doing well, but more detailed information will not become available until the veterinary team is able to do a neonatal exam. This will be performed when the staff feels that it can safely separate the infant from its very protective mother for the few minutes that the exam will take. It is critical that the mother and newborn are able to establish a bond, which can sometimes be a challenge for first time mothers. Because of the extreme sensitivity of the situation, there will be no media access until zoo management has determined that everything is stable and the new mother and baby have been able to adjust. If everything goes well, it will probably be a few weeks until mom and baby are on public display.

There are currently 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.

This very rare birth is not only significant for Zoo Miami, it is incredibly important to the international efforts to maintain a healthy population under human care of this highly vulnerable species throughout the world.  

More amazing pics below the fold!

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Chester Zoo's Top 10 Baby Animals of 2018

Conservationists at Chester Zoo have celebrated an unprecedented number of births in 2018, including some of the world’s rarest and most at-risk species.

1. Precious sun bear cub Kyra is first of her kind to be born in the UK (8)

Sun Bear

Adorable cub Kyra was the first Sun Bear to be born in the UK. Her birth was caught on the zoo’s CCTV cameras and people around the globe watched Kyra’s first moments with her mom. Kyra’s parents, Milli and Toni, were both rescued from poachers in Cambodia.    

Conservationists estimate that less than 1,000 Sun Bears remain in the wild across Southeast Asia. Deforestation and commercial hunting for their body parts have decimated their numbers.

2. Baby Stevie is the arrival of the decade… for Chester’s chimpanzees  (3)

Chimpanzee

Critically endangered Western Chimpanzee Stevie was the first of her kind to be born at Chester Zoo in nearly 10 years.

Stevie’s birth followed a scientific project, spanning several years, which carefully assessed the genetics of all Chimpanzees in zoos across Europe. The study confirmed that the troop of Chimps at Chester Zoo is the highly-threatened West African subspecies – one of the rarest in the world – establishing them as a critically important breeding population. It is estimated that as few as 18,000 West African Chimpanzees now remain in the wild.

3. Elephant calf Anjan astonishes scientists after being born three months after expected due date (2)

Asian Elephant

After an unusually long pregnancy believed to have lasted 25 months, Asian Elephant Thi Hi Way gave birth to a healthy male calf, who keepers named Anjan.

A major Chester Zoo project in Assam, northern India, has successfully found ways to eliminate conflict between local communities and the nearby Asian Elephant population, offering a blueprint for the future conservation of the species.

4. Greater one-horned rhino calf Akeno gives new hope to species (2)

Greater One-horned Rhino

The momentous birth of Greater One-horned Rhino calf Akeno, born to mom Asha, was captured on CCTV cameras at the zoo.

Keepers watched as Asha delivered her calf safely onto to soft bedding after a 16-month-long gestation and 20-minute labor.

At one stage, the Greater One-horned Rhino was hunted almost to extinction and less than 200 survived in the wild. Thankfully, steps to protect the Rhinos were taken just in time and today there are around 3,500 in India and Nepal.

5. Secretive okapi calf Semuliki is a star in stripes (2)

Okapi

A rare Okapi calf named Semuliki arrived to first-time parents K’tusha and Stomp. The Okapi is found only deep in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo and its highly secretive nature contributed to it being completely unknown to science until 1901.

Despite being a national symbol and protected under Congolese law, Okapi populations declined in the wild by nearly 50% over the past two decades and the species is now listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

6. Tiny forest dragons help uncover new information about the species (4)
Bell’s Anglehead Lizards

A clutch of rare baby  Bell’s Anglehead Lizards – also known as Borneo Forest Dragons – hatched at the zoo, helping conservationists uncover more about the species’ breeding patterns, life cycle and habits.

The Lizards’ wild south Asian habitat however, is being decimated to make way for unsustainable palm oil plantations – a threat which is pushing many species in the region to the very edge of existence.

7. Rare silvery gibbon adds to record baby boom at the zoo  (2)
Silvery Gibbon

The birth of a tiny Silvery Gibbon astonished visitors to the zoo who were able to admire the infant just minutes after its birth. 

Conservationists hailed the arrival of this highly endangered primate, with just 4,000 of its kind now remaining on the island of Java, Indonesia, where the species is now listed as endangered by the IUCN.

8. Fluffy flamingo chicks are pretty in pink  (2)

Flamingos

Keepers were tickled pink by the arrival of 21 Flamingo chicks. Each of the fluffy newcomers was carefully hand fed by the zoo’s bird experts four times a day for five weeks until they were developed enough to fully feed for themselves.

Flamingo chicks are white or grey in color when they first hatch, resembling little balls of cotton wool, and begin to develop their famous pink plumage at around six months old.

9. Tiny babirusa triplets arrive in zoo ‘first’ (3)

Babirusa

The first set of Babirusa triplets were born at the zoo, a huge boost to the species which has experienced a recent population crash on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Once considered fairly common, the rapid decline comes as result of hunting for their meat and habitat loss, which has seen Babirusas disappear from many parts of the island.

10. Black rhino birth a surprise to visitors  (5)

Eastern Black Rhino

The arrival of Jumaane, a rare Eastern Black Rhino calf, left a handful of lucky zoo visitors in shock as his birth took place right in front of them.

Conservationists now estimate that fewer than 650 Eastern Black Rhino remain across Africa – a staggeringly low number driven by an increase in poaching to meet demand for rhino horn, which supplies the traditional Asian medicine market.

The birth of Jumaane is another vital boost to the Europe-wide breeding program which is crucial for the conservation of this critically endangered species.


Zoo Berlin's Baby Rhino Makes Her Debut

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On September 22, on World Rhino Day, 16-year-old Black Rhinoceros Maburi gave birth to a female calf at Zoo Berlin. Then, after spending about three weeks in the barn bonding with her mother, the little girl stepped confidently into the Rhino yard on October 12.

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Spitzmaulnashorn Maburi mit Jungtier_Zoo Berlin_2018Photo Credit: Zoo Berlin

Black Rhinos are born without horns, but you can already see two bumps on the calf’s snout. Her horns, which are made of the same material as human hair and fingernails, will gradually grow from these spots. Rhinos take about five to seven years to fully mature, and Maburi’s calf will nurse for about two years. Leaves, twigs, and vegetables will gradually be introduced to the calf’s diet.

The calf has not yet been named, but the zoo is accepting name suggestions on their Facebook page.  

Zoo Berlin has a long history of caring for and breeding Black Rhinos, with 20 calves born over the years. Black Rhinos are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their numbers have dwindled to just a few thousand, and they survive mainly in southern and eastern Africa.

There are seven to eight subspecies of Black Rhino, and three of those subspecies have become extinct in the last 150 years; a fourth is precariously close to extinction. Rhinos are illegally poached for their horns, which are thought to have medicinal properties and spiritual powers, all of which are unproven. Even Rhinos under armed protection have been poached, highlighting the difficulty of advancing conservation goals amid the potential for illicit economic gains.


Sixth Southern White Rhino Birth at ZooTampa

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Celebrations are taking place at ZooTampa at Lowry Park’s Southern White Rhinoceros’ habitat. Mother Alake gave birth to a calf on September 12, marking the sixth successful Southern White Rhino birth and ninth Rhino in the Zoo’s history.

After bonding with mom, the calf will be introduced to the rest of the herd. As the herd grows, animal care professionals continue to deliver high-quality care for the Rhinos’ physical health and well-being.

“ZooTampa is deeply committed to the species’ continued survival, both at home and beyond. “Every birth brings hope to the continued conservation of this incredible species.” said Chris Massaro, General Curator at ZooTampa.

The Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Rhino Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), which includes the Southern White Rhino Species Survival Plan (SSP). Over the past 20 years, ZooTampa has contributed $100,000 to conservation projects, such as anti-poaching and habitat repair and restoration efforts in Africa.

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TampaRhino4Photo Credits: Matt Marriott /ZooTampa

The majority of Southern White Rhinos (Ceratotherium simum simum) live in just four countries in Africa: Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Their unique body is characterized by a pronounced hump and two horns at the ends of its muzzle, used to defend against its predators and establish social dominance.

This birth is a welcome addition to the population of wildlife that relies on human care. Record numbers of rhinos have been killed by poachers due to the high demand for keratin, a protein found in rhino horn that is believed to have medicinal properties.

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Summer Baby Boom at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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There’s been a late summer baby boom at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, eliciting lots of “oohs and aahs” from visitors of all ages.

Among the new baby animals that can be seen at the Park, there’s a Greater One-horned Rhino calf, named Tio, who was born on July 9 to mom, Tanaya.

Also, a male Giraffe calf, named Kumi, was born August 6, and a handsome male African Elephant was born August 12 and has been named Umzula-zuli.

A young Scimitar Horned Oryx can be seen sticking close to his mom at the Park, and a one-month-old Grevy’s Zebra foal enjoys sunning with mom.

San Diego Safari Park visitors may see the baby animals and all the Safari Park has to offer from an African Tram Safari, a Caravan Safari or private Cart Safari.

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4_BabiesOryx_007_LGPhoto Credits: Ken Bohn/ San Diego Zoo Global

Since 1969, more than 37,600 animals have been born at the Safari Park, including 23,000 mammals, 12,800 birds, 1,500 amphibians and 40 reptiles. The Safari Park’s successful breeding programs help conserve numerous species, many of which are threatened or endangered, like the Scimitar Horned Oryx.

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Rhino Calf is Cleveland's Seventh

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed a its second Eastern Black Rhino calf of the year on Ausut 20. The calf joins 25-year-old mom Inge, dad Forrest, aunt Kibibbi and 7-month-old calf Lulu.

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Unnamed (4)Photo Credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Both Inge and her calf are doing well and have been under constant watch by the Zoo's animal care team. In order to stimulate the mother-calf bond, Inge and the calf will not be visible to the public for a period of time. This is the fifth calf for Inge, who is also the mother to Kibibbi and the grandmother to Lulu.
 
“We’re very excited to welcome our second Eastern Black Rhino calf born here at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo this year,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Christopher Kuhar, PhD. “We hope these significant births inspire guests to learn more about this critically endangered species and how they can help protect Eastern Black Rhinos in the wild.”
 
Alongside the birth, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will soon debut a new Rhino Cam, allowing viewers to peek into the Rhino yard 24/7. Inge and her calf are not yet in the Rhino yard, but should move into the habitat in a few weeks when the calf is strong enough.

This calf is the seventh Eastern Black Rhino born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and is an important one for the species. Less than 750 Eastern Black Rhinos remain in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has contributed more than $7.5 million to wildlife conservation efforts around the world. 


Zoo Visitors Stunned With Black Rhino Birth

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Visitors to Chester Zoo were left stunned when an Eastern Black Rhino, named Malindi, gave birth in front of them.

While most Rhino births typically happen at night or in the early hours of the morning, the 12-year-old critically endangered mum shocked onlookers when she went into labour at around 12:30 in the afternoon on July 31.

A healthy male calf was delivered safely, less than half an hour later, in what zoo conservationists have described as a “very rare and special event” to witness.

This is mum, Malindi’s, second calf, and 19-year-old dad, Magadi, has sired five previous calves.

The little one was up on its feet within 15 minutes and was seen running around soon after, before returning to suckle from mum.

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4_Baby black rhino birth catches visitors by surprise at Chester Zoo (13)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals at the zoo, said, “Visitors to the zoo were treated to something incredibly special when Eastern Black Rhino, Malindi, went in to labour in front of them. With just 650 Eastern Black Rhino left in the wild, seeing the birth of a new calf and it’s very first steps is a very rare and special event indeed.”

“The newborn was delivered onto soft wood mulch and within next to no time it was up on its feet and running around – it couldn’t have gone any smoother.”

Rowlands continued, “Although it’s still very early days, the little one is showing great signs by feeding regularly and mum and calf appear to have bonded very quickly.”

“We just hope this new calf helps us to raise some much needed attention to this truly magnificent species, and inspires urgent action to protect their future on this planet. We cannot and must not allow this subspecies to become extinct – a fate which has, tragically, already become of some of its cousins.”

Conservationists now fear that less than 650 Eastern Black Rhino remain across Africa, with the animals listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The staggeringly low wild number is a result of the illegal wildlife trade, driven by the increasing demand for Rhino horn, which supplies the traditional Asian medicine market, where it is currently changing hands for more than gold and drugs.

Mike Jordan, Collections Director at Chester Zoo, added, “This new arrival is a real boost to a critically endangered species. It increases the number of Eastern Black Rhino at Chester to 11 and is another vitally important success story in a Europe-wide breeding programme for these highly threatened animals. A thriving, healthy population of this high profile species in good zoos is vitally important to the future of this species and a key component of our mission to prevent their extinction.”

In tandem with its acclaimed breeding programme, Chester Zoo is also fighting for the survival of Eastern Black Rhino in the field and has long supported conservation efforts to protect Black Rhinos and continues to fund, and provide expertise, to numerous sanctuaries, partners and wildlife reserves in Africa.

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Meet Akeno the Baby Rhino at Chester Zoo

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Zookeepers at Chester Zoo have revealed the name of a rare baby Rhino born on May 3.

Meet Akeno, the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros calf – only the second of his kind to ever be born at the zoo. The name Akeno is of Asian origin, meaning “beautiful sunrise.”

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Zoo reveals baby rhino’s name (37)Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

Although he is just six weeks old, Akeno has bundles of energy and is proving to be a real handful for his 11-year-old mother, Asha.

Greater One-horned Rhinos can weigh up to 2.4 tons as adults, but despite their bulky size, they can run at speeds of up to 25 mph.

Also known as Indian Rhinos, Greater One-horned Rhinos live in northeastern India and southern Nepal. Like all Rhinos, they feed on grasses and other vegetation. And, like Rhinos in Africa and other parts of Asia, Greater One-horned Rhinos are illegally hunted for their horns, which are mistakenly believed to have medicinal properties in some cultures. In reality, Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same substance that makes up human hair and fingernails.

Due to overhunting and habitat loss, only about 200 Greater One-horned Rhinos remained in the wild by the middle of the 20th century. Steps to protect the Rhinos were taken just in time and today, about 3,500 live in the wild. They are currently listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

See more pictures of Akeno below.

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