Indian Rhino Birth Offers Hope for Endangered Species

The young Indian rhino born in late December at Zoo Miami. Copyright Ron Magill, Zoo Miami.

As a follow up to my post last week on the surge in rhino poaching last year, I thought I’d note some good rhino news out of Zoo Miami .  In late December, after a nearly 16-month pregnancy, Kalu, Zoo Miami’s 11-year old Indian, gave birth to a calf.   

This birth highlights the collaborative nature of breeding programs at AZA accredited institutions.  The mother, Kalu, was born at the Bronx Zoo in of 2000 and arrived at Zoo Miami as part of a breeding loan in 2004.  The father, Suru, was born at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in December 2000.  He arrived at Zoo Miami in October 2003 as part of a breeding loan with the San Francisco Zoo.  This is the first offspring for both individuals.

There are less than 3,000 Indian rhinos left in the wild occurring in small protected areas of Nepal and India.  Over the years, they have been poached extensively for their horn which is used for medicinal purposes and for dagger handles.  They are the world’s fourth largest land mammal sometimes reaching a weight of 6,000 pounds.

Indian rhino at Zoo Miami. Credit Ron Magill.

This very rare birth is not only significant for Zoo Miami, it is important to the international efforts to maintain a healthy captive population of this endangered species throughout the world.  It was only the third captive birth of an Indian rhino in the U.S. last year.

Tim Lewthwaite

This entry was posted in Bronx Zoo, Conservation, Rhino, San Diego Zoo, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Society, Zoo Miami. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Indian Rhino Birth Offers Hope for Endangered Species

  1. Blehderbleh says:

    I think Ron Magill is amazing and I’ve met one of the Rhino’s before (Zero or something) and I’m really excited to see this one…when was it born again year???

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