Black Rhino Calf Makes His Debut

Black rhino calf

Black rhino calf at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo on May 6 2015. Photograph by Rick Stevens.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo welcomed a male black rhino calf on April 20. He is the second baby born to mother Bakhita and the third calf born in 10 years to the zoo’s breeding program for this critically endangered species.

“With just over 4000 black rhinos remaining and all five rhino species under enormous pressure in the wild, every birth is critical,” said General Manager Matthew Fuller. “This little rhino is precious, as are all rhinos, and we’re hopeful that his birth will further highlight the need to protect these remarkable creatures.”

The calf weighs about 30-40 kg and is full of energy, often bounding around his yard first thing in the morning.

Black rhino calf and mother

Baby rhino with his mother Bakhita. Photograph by Rick Stevens.

In the wild, black rhinoceroses live in Africa. Poaching is a major threat to the species due to demand for their horns which is used in Asian medicine.

Learn more at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo website.

Endangered Black Rhino Calf Born at Lincoln Park Zoo

Black rhino calf

The healthy male black rhino calf at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Photos by Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo.

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).

Black rhino mother and calf

Mother Kapuki and her calf will be bonding behind the scenes for the next couple of weeks.

“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.