Rare Black Rhino Born At Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
A black rhinoceros calf was welcomed into the world this week at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
Wednesday afternoon, Zoo keepers watched in awe as the Azizi (the mother), delivered the baby without any human interference. The calf is only the second black rhinoceros born at the Pittsburgh zoo since 2014.
According to the zoo, rhino calves can gain up to 30 pounds each week while nursing. Zoo keepers will introduce solid foods beginning with alfalfa and sweet potatoes at about one month of age.
“We are very excited to welcome our second eastern black rhinoceros calf to the zoo family,” Dr. Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, said in a news release. “Azizi’s calf is the first eastern black rhino born this year in North America. Last year there were two calves born in zoos. She is an ambassador for her cousins in the wild and provides us with an opportunity to educate our visitors about the plight of wild rhinos and how support of conservation efforts worldwide is critical to the preservation of the species.”
The eastern black rhino is a critically endangered species as a result of widespread poaching. The species has suffered a 97.6 percent decrease in population since 1960. While the wild population of black rhinos has recovered somewhat from a low of 2,410 animals in 1995, it remains critically endangered.
The baby rhino is healthy, nursing and behaving as expected. She will remain with her mother away from public view until they have had time to bond and weather conditions are appropriate. The zoo will update its social media channels when the baby joins a public exhibit.
For more information including tickets, visit the official Pittsburgh Zoo website by clicking here.
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