The Miami Zoo called for a celebration last week, after welcoming its newest addition to the family – a rare baby rhino!
The baby rhino was born on April 23 at 12:30 am. It is Akuti, the seven-year old greater one-horned Indian rhinoceros, first baby. The newborn still do not have a name yet, but both of them seem to be doing well at the zoo.
“It is critical that the mother and newborn are able to establish a bond, which can sometimes be a challenge for first-time mothers,” the zoo told CNN in an interview. They said the zoo staff will perform a more thorough inspection when they feel they can separate the baby from its mother.
The newborn marks the first successful birth of the species as a result of induced ovulation and artificial insemination, according to the zoo.
The baby’s mother, Akuti, arrived at the Miami zoo in 2016, while the father, Suru, was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and later on transferred to Miami zoo in 2003. He is now 18 years old.
The staff and a team of experts attempted natural breeding multiple times, but failed. In January 2018, experts from the South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation (SEZARC), along with Dr. Monica Stoops from Cincinnati Zoo, started artificially inseminating Akuti.
“This very rare birth is not only significant for Zoo Miami, it is incredibly important to the international efforts to maintain a healthy population under human care of this highly vulnerable species throughout the world,” the zoo said.
Rhinos are heavily poached, leaving only 3,500 Indian rhinos left in the world, according to the International Rhino Foundation.
SEZARC serves as an organization that work with several zoos, aquariums and conservation groups to help increase the population of several rare species through reproductive science, according to a report by CNN.
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