Posted on 10/25/2016 at 07:33 PM by Ryan Bickel
A rhino calf was born on October 11, 2016 to Ayana the eastern black rhino that came to Blank Park Zoo in 2012. Kiano the rhino is the father.
There are less than 1,000 eastern black rhinos left in world. Rhinos are hunted for their horns that are use as medicine and ornaments in some cultures. "The eastern black rhino is at a 'tipping point' in the wild - meaning that deaths, mostly due to poaching, will soon outnumber births," said Kevin Drees, director of animal care and conservation. “The captive zoo population plays a role in survival of the species, and Blank Park Zoo has partnered with the International Rhino Foundation to secure the species future. This celebrated birth should raise awareness and bring attention to this critical wildlife situation.
The rhino calf has not yet been named. Zoo officials will enlist donations for a chance to name the rhino. More details coming soon.
Mom and baby are currently on exhibit although Zoo officials note that baby will take naps outside of public view periodically. Zoo officials are releasing videos, pictures and live streams on the Zoo's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blankparkzoo.
The rhino weighed 80 pounds when born and within two weeks of birth, easily weighs over 100 pounds. The calf's horn will grow and will take years to look fully 'grown.' Ayana has been a great mother and keepers have not had to intervene to help feed the calf. The calf loves to follow mom everywhere and has to gallop to keep up with mom.
Keepers recently gave Ayana and the calf a pumpkin. Ayana enjoyed eating and playing with it. The calf was interested in the pumpkin as well but only drinks mother's milk.
Learn more about the conservation of Rhinos at Blank Park Zoo:
The calf is resting next to mom in this video.