A male eastern black rhinoceros calf was born July 1 at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and the birth marks the start of a third generation of rhinos at the Zoo. The calf, which has yet to be named, is the offspring of Kibibbi (8) and Jimma (22) and it makes the Zoo’s other female adult rhino, Inge, a grandmother.
The calf weighed about 80 pounds at birth and is growing fast. He already tips the scales at about 150 pounds. When he is fully grown he will weigh about 3,000 pounds.
Animal keepers will give mother and baby time to bond and hope they can be put on exhibit shortly in the Zoo’s African Savanna to join Inge and her two-year-old daughter Johari. Jimma is currently on loan to the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.
“We couldn’t be happier with how well Kibibbi is taking care of her calf,” said Andi Kornak, the Zoo’s curator of animals. “But it’s not surprising considering what a good example Inge has set as a successful rhino mom.”
The Zoo has been very successful in breeding eastern black rhinos as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Program® (SSP) – this is the fifth successful rhino birth at the Zoo since 2000. The Zoo’s new calf is the first eastern black rhino birth in North America since January, 2011.
The eastern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli) is classified as “critically endangered” in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the primary organization for quantifying conservation assessment efforts. The IUCN estimates there are less than 1,000 of this rhino subspecies left in the wild, concentrated primarily in Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.