Only the Second Time in 134 Years: Zoo Atlanta Celebrates the Arrival of a Rare White Rhino Calf

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.27 - 2023 10:00 AM CET

Photo: Zoo Atlanta
Photo: Zoo Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta Celebrates the Arrival of a Rare White Rhino Calf.

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Zoo Atlanta has recently welcomed a new and rare addition to their family – a southern white rhinoceros calf, born to mother Kiazi, aged 22, and father Mumbles, aged 12. The birth of this unnamed calf on December 24th marks a significant event, as the species is currently classified as Near Threatened due to poaching for their horns.

This is reported by Zoo Atlanta on their Facebook page.

The birth is the result of a breeding recommendation under the AZA White Rhino Species Survival Plan, a program aimed at maintaining healthy, genetically diverse, and self-sustaining animal populations. This plan is crucial for the conservation of species like the southern white rhino, which faces threats in the wild.

"The calf appears to be healthy and strong, and Kiazi is providing appropriate maternal care, according to the Animal Care and Veterinary Teams, who continue to monitor the pair closely," Zoo Atalanta states.

Just the second time in the organization's 134-year history

Kiazi, who arrived at Zoo Atlanta in late 2021 from another Association of Zoos and Aquariums member, was closely monitored by the Animal Care and Veterinary Teams through voluntary ultrasounds since her pregnancy was detected in the spring of 2023. The Zoo has confirmed that the calf is healthy and strong, and Kiazi is providing excellent maternal care.

This birth is particularly special for Zoo Atlanta, as it is only the second rhino birth in the organization's 134-year history. The first was an eastern black rhino born in 2013. Additionally, in October 2023, a new 17-year-old rhino named Dakari was introduced to the zoo under the Survival Plan and is expected to meet Mumbles in 2024.

White rhinos are known for their long pregnancies, averaging between 16 to 18 months, and newborns can weigh between 100 to 150 pounds at birth. Found in regions like Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Kenya, and Zambia, these semi-social and territorial animals can live up to 35 years in the wild and 40 in captivity.

The birth of this calf not only adds to the genetic diversity of the species but also serves as an ambassador for wild rhinos, raising awareness about the conservation status of these magnificent creatures. The Zoo Atlanta team is excited about the educational and conservation opportunities this new arrival presents.

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