Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo announced on their website Thursday the birth of a critically endangered Eastern black rhinoceros. Born on August 26th, the 60 pound baby boy is said to be healthy and bonding with its mother, 8 year old Kapuki. This is the first baby rhino born at the zoo since 1989.
This is also the second Eastern black rhino baby born this month in the United States. On August 17th, the Atlanta Zoo welcomed a baby boy born to 7 year old Andazi and her mate 9 year old Utenzi.
The Eastern black rhino is critically endangered of extinction due to illegal poaching and limited protection programs. There are only about 5,000 remaining in its natural habitat which is made up of the grassland-forest transition zones of Africa, the desert areas of south western Africa and montane forests in Kenya. There are also 68 individuals living in 25 accredited zoological facilities throughout North America. Lincoln Park Zoo alone has three adults.
According to Mammals Curator 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.
For a few weeks, both mom and baby will not be available for public viewing. Instead, they will be housed behind the scenes as they continue to bond and the health of the baby will carefully be monitored. However, 27 year old father Maku can be visited at the Harris Family Foundation Black Rhinoceros Exhibit. In the meantime, people are encouraged to visit Lincoln Park Zoo’s website for updates on the baby rhino’s milestones and news as to when he will be available for public viewing.
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