MIAMI, FL — Zoo Miami held a baby rhino gender reveal on Friday, two months after the not-so-little bundle of joy arrived. The yet-to-be named rhino is a girl.
The calf’s father, 18-year old “Suru,” which means “A Start” in Bengali, did the honors on the gender reveal at Zoo Miami, which is the largest and oldest zoo in Florida and the only sub-tropical zoo in the continental United States.
Some of Suru’s favorite foods and toys were placed inside a large cardboard box adorned with pink and blue question marks. See also Baby Rhino Born At Zoo Miami: Photos
“The father went out there and started eating out of a big box. Then, when he opened up the box a bunch of pink material came out,” Zoo Miami goodwill ambassador Ron Magill told Patch after the ceremony. “It was different types of boomer balls that he plays with and some paper bags that had biodegradable stuff that he was eating.”
“Akuti,” the adult mother, delivered the greater one-horned Indian rhinoceros in April at Zoo Miami. Mother and child were given time to bond before meeting the public for the first time on Friday.
Thus far the newborn is being referred to only as baby rhino. The naming honors will go to a Zoo Miami donor at a later date.
“The fact that this little girl exists at all is huge,” explained Magill. “It’s the first time ever in the history of the world that an Indian rhino was born as a result of induced ovulation combined with artificial insemination. That’s a big thing in and of itself, to have mastered that technology, and to be able to use that technology to get a successful birth of a very vulnerable animal is a big positive for China to ensure the survival of the species.”
The largest of the three Asian rhinos, and one of the largest rhino species in the world along with the African white rhino, the greater one-horned rhinoceros has made a comeback over the past four decades when it faced possible extinction.
“The greater one-horned rhino is a conservation success, with numbers increasing significantly since 1975,” said the World Wildlife Fund, noting that the species is still threatened by poachers for its horns and by habitat loss. “Back then, there were only 600 rhinos left in the wild.”
The seven-year-old Akuti, which means ‘Princess’ in Hindi, gave birth to the baby after a more-than-15-month pregnancy, which is normal for one-horned rhinos. The baby arrived at 12:30 a.m. on April 24.
A special team from the South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation along with Dr. Monica Stoops of the Cincinnati Zoo met at Zoo Miami to artificially collect semen from Suru on Jan. 8, 2018. They artificially inseminated Akuti on Jan. 9, 2018.
Despite gains in numbers, the species is still considered to be vulnerable, according to World Wildlife Fund.
“There are less than 3,000 Indian rhinos left in the wild occurring in small protected areas of Nepal, India, and Assam,” said Zoo Miami officials, noting the species represents the world’s fourth largest land mammal sometimes reaching a weight of 6,000 pounds.
Watch the gender reveal event below courtesy of Zoo Miami:
The upcoming weekend was to be called “Baby Rhino Weekend” at Zoo Miami.
Zoo officials have not yet gotten an opportunity to weigh the baby rhino because her mother has been unwilling to let the team get close enough to conduct an exam.
“We estimate between 100 to 115 pounds at birth,” added Magill. “I would say she is a good 175 now.”
Click Here: Cheap Golf Drivers