Omaha zoo celebrating the birth of rare Indian rhino calf

The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska, welcomed a new baby rhino last week in the zoo's first rhinoceros birth in its 120-year history.

"This is one of the most important births for the zoo in recent history," zoo director and CEO Dennis Pate said in a statement on the facility's website.

“It counts when it comes to sustaining this species in zoos, it counts as a backup to vulnerable wild populations, and it counts in drawing people to include animals as part of our heritage.”

The new calf was born to Hellary and Jontu, the zoo's adult Indian rhinos, and is believed to be a male.
"There was a steep learning curve to find the right timing for sparks to fly between these first-time rhino parents," lead reproduction scientist Dr. Monica Stoops said.

“Animal care staff were dedicated to trying different introduction techniques to ensure this new rhino breeding pair succeeded.”

After a 16-month gestation period, Hellary gave birth to the baby Aug. 30. The little rhino weighed 120 pounds at birth and has grown to 140 pounds, gaining 20 pounds in just five days.

The zoo plans on naming the new calf at the zoo’s biennial fundraiser next week.

About the Author