A baby black rhino was born at a zoo in Michigan just in time for Christmas this year.
Doppsee, a 12-year-old rhino at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan, gave birth to a baby male who has yet to be named early on Christmas Eve, according to a Tuesday statement from the zoo.
The rhino calf and its mother are both healthy and doing well, and the baby’s birth marks the first time in the zoo’s 100-year history that a black rhino calf was born on its grounds, according to a video the zoo shared of the birth.
“As this is Doppsee’s first pregnancy, the animal care and veterinary staff will continue to monitor Doppsee and her calf closely in the next few weeks,” Ronan Eustace, park veterinarian, said in the statement. “But so far, the rhino calf appears healthy and we have observed frequent nursing shortly after the birth, which is encouraging.”
The mother and calf will “bond” in the rhino barn at the zoo and will not be visible to the public until after the new year. The baby’s father, Phineus, came to the zoo in 2017 specifically to breed with Doppsee.
Black rhinos are a critically endangered species and are being “pushed to the brink of extinction by illegal poaching and loss of habitat,” according to the zoo’s statement. There are only an estimated 5,000 individual black rhinos in the wild alive today. Only an average of two calves are born in human care each year.
“This is a monumental moment for Potter Park Zoo that has taken our staff years of planning and hard work. We are dedicated to conserving rhinos and couldn’t be more excited about this successful black rhino birth,” Cynthia Wagner, director of Potter Park Zoo, said in the Tuesday statement.
Courtesy/Source: The Hill