A black rhino calf was born on the auspicious day of Christmas Eve in a zoo in Lansing, Michigan. The amazing and rare occurrence took place in the Potter Park Zoo on the morning of December 24 at around 5:45 am. The Facebook page of the zoo, broadcast feed of the 12-year-old Doppsee delivering the black endangered baby rhino live. According to the Potter Park Zoo, the baby rhino is looking healthy and has been bonding well with mother Doppsee.
The Potter Park Zoo said that the calf stood up about an hour and a half after birth and it appears to be nursing well. The rhino will not be visible to the public until the weather allows in the spring of 2020. The black rhino is an endangered species and there are only 5,000 of it left in the wilds, which is a significant rise from less than 2,500 black rhinos 20 years ago. The occasion is special for Potter Park Zoo and for all the animal enthusiasts because on average less than two black rhino calves are born in human care each year, making every calf born a remarkable achievement for the caretakers.
The staff at Potter Park is also celebrating the fact that this is the first time in over 100 years that a black rhino calf has been born at the zoo. There are just over 50 black rhinos in the care of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos which are managed by the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP maintains a genetically healthy population of black rhinos in zoos. The father, Phineus, came to Potter Park Zoo in 2017 from Texas specifically to breed with Doppsee.
"This is a monumental moment for Potter Park Zoo that has taken our staff years of planning and hard work. We are dedicated to conserving rhinos and couldn’t be more excited about this successful black rhino birth," Cynthia Wagner, Director of Potter Park Zoo was quoted as saying on the official website.