The Lincoln Park Zoo happily welcomed the birth of a critically-endangered black rhinoceros calf on August 26. The male calf weighed in at 60 pounds.
“Mother and baby are both doing wonderfully,” said 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.”
With only 5,000 black rhinos alive in the wild, the species is considered at high risk of extinction. They are threatened primarily by poachers, who kill the rhinos for their horns. In some cultures, black rhino horns are considered very valuable for medicinal purposes.
The Lincoln Park Zoo worked hard to conserve this species through the Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, an initiative of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
“This birth is cause for great celebration here at Lincoln Park Zoo and has been much anticipated” said 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.”
For more information, see the Lincoln Park Zoo website.