Baby White Rhinoceros at Busch Gardens

Baby white rhino at Busch Gardens

A rare white rhino was born at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay under the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a female baby white rhinoceros on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. The baby is the second calf born to mother Kisiri and the seventh calf born to father Tambo. Busch Gardens has celebrated a total of seven white rhino births since October 2004. The new baby weighed an estimated 140 pounds at birth. The newborn – who has yet to be named – will gain approximately four pounds each day until it reaches an adult weight of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 pounds.

Baby white rhino

Busch Gardens participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure genetic diversification among threatened and endangered animals in zoological facilities. The birth brings the total white and black rhino population at the adventure park to eight.

Kisiri, Tambo and another female white rhino were airlifted from Kruger National Park in South Africa in 2001 through the efforts of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of rhinos. Fewer than 15,000 white rhinos remain in the wild, and approximately 200 live in zoological facilities across North America.

Rare Sumatran Rhino is Pregnant

Ratu the Sumatran rhino

Ratu, a rare Sumatran rhino, is pregnant!

In February 2010, we posted about Ratu, a rare Sumatran rhino, being pregnant. Unfortunately, she miscarried after two months. However, the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia has announced that Ratu is pregnant again! Currently, she is in her eleventh month of gestation. Her pregnancy will most likely last another four or five months.

To help prevent Ratu from miscarrying again, sanctuary staff give her a hormone supplement daily. Within the sanctuary, she is free to roam and graze in a large forested area with natural plants and mud, just as she would in the wild.

Ratu was originally a wild rhino. She was taken into the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, which offers 250 acres of protected land, after coming in contact with villagers nearby. Andalas, who mated with Ratu last year to produce this recent pregnancy, was a captively-bred rhino from the Cincinnati Zoo.

Sumatran rhinos are in grave danger of becoming extinct. According to the International Rhino Foundation:

The Sumatran rhino is one of the world’s most critically endangered species, numbering no more than 200 individuals in Indonesia and Malaysia. The species is seriously threatened by the continuing loss of its tropical forest habitat and hunting pressure from poachers, who kill rhinos for their valuable horns. Every Sumatran rhino birth – in the wild, in a zoo or in a special sanctuary – represents hope for the survival of this species, which runs the risk of going extinct by the end of this century.

Learn more at the International Rhino Foundation website.

The Race to Save Javan Rhinos is On

There are only 48 Javan rhinos left in the world. For conservationists and animal lovers that is a frightening number. Conservationists are afraid that a single natural disaster or the introduction of a disease to their home on the island of Java could wipe out the species forever.

To try to prevent this a safe haven is being created in the Ujung Kulon National Park on the island. The International Rhino Foundation and its partners are creating 9,884 acres of expanded habitat. The foundation has raised more than half of the 650,000 dollars needed for the effort, but another 300,000 still needs to be raised.

The 300,000 still needed will go toward planting food for the rhinos, constructing wallows, create water sources, build patrol routes and guard towers, and hire guards to keep poachers away.

If you’d like to help or learn more about the Javan rhino, visit The International Rhino Foundation.