Adorable New Baby Black Rhino Born At The Little Rock Zoo
Congratulations are in order for Andazi and Johari (proud parents) and of course the Little Rock Zoo, last night a baby eastern black rhinoceros was born making this the first rhino birth ever for the Zoo and a milestone birth for rhino conservation.
The mother is Andazi, she's a 15-year-old rhino and a resident of the Little Rock Zoo since 2010. The father is Johari, he's a 26-year-old rhino, and has been living at the Zoo since he was three. Andazi transferred to the Little Rock Zoo from Atlanta in hopes of pairing with Johari for breeding at the recommendation of the Species Survival Plan®.
Right now the Zoo staff is closely monitoring the calf’s progress. The calf will not be visible to the public for several weeks. So far, mother and calf are doing great. Since it was not mentioned in the Press Release we must assume they don't have a confirmation on the calf's gender as of yet, or they're just not telling.
Now the Gasp:
According to Zoo officials, an eastern black rhino calf will weigh 50 and 100 pounds at birth. Full-grown they get to be around 2,500 pounds.
Black rhinos are identified by their prehensile upper lip which can grasp like a human finger. This species is a browser and uses the upper lip to pull branches into its mouth. Once widespread across the eastern nations of Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, and Kenya), rhino populations have plummeted as they are hunted for their horns. The population has declined 90 percent, with totals estimated at around 4,500 in the wild. The eastern Black Rhino is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species meaning it is at an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. The major threat to its conservation is poaching, although recent efforts to protect the species have seen a modest annual recovery rate of around 2.5% from committed law enforcement efforts and successful population management measures.
For more information on Little Rock Zoo, visit www.littlerockzoo.com or call 501-661-7208.