The Eastern black rhino family at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed a new female calf August 17, the fourth daughter born to mom Inge, and second offspring of dad Jimma. She was estimated to have weighed more than 100 pounds at birth.
The baby rhino, who has yet to be named, is a significant addition to the zoo population as there are only 31 female and 36 male Eastern black rhinos in zoos in North America and they are considered highly endangered in the wild. There have been only two other Eastern black rhino babies born in the U.S. this year.
The new calf, who now weighs 147 pounds, is gaining weight quickly and showing a high level of energy and playfulness. She is not yet on public display as she continues to bond with her mother, but the frisky calf can be seen in a video at the Zoo's website, clemetzoo.com.
Since her arrival in 1997 from the Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa, Inge has given birth to four calves at the Zoo, all female. Because Inge was born in the wild, her genes are very important to the overall zoo population and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Species Survival Program.
"Inge keeps getting better and better at taking care of her calves," said Alan Sironen, Curator of Carnivores and Large Mammals. "This calf is particularly bold and energetic and they are fun to watch together."
Sironen said the Zoo is extremely fortunate to have had four consecutive female births, due to a larger portion of zoo births being males.
Two of her offspring, Kibibbi and Zuri, are still at the Zoo. The other, Azzizi, currently lives at the Pittsburgh Zoo.
The Zoo's successful black rhino program is a coordinated effort between the curators, veterinarians, research staff members and zookeepers. The Zoo's small crash of rhinos is unique in that it replicates what one might find in nature with a mother, older daughters, a young calf and a mature male.
The animal care staff's commitment to behavioral enrichment and training are also key components to the Zoo's success with this species.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 per person ages 12 and older, $7 for children ages 2-11 and free for Zoo members and children younger than 2. Parking is free. The Zoo is located at 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland.
To learn more, visit clemetzoo.com or call (216) 661-6500.