Adorably rare Indian rhino is born through artificial insemination

2019-04-26 13:30
A rare baby rhino was born using artificial insemination at Zoo Miami in Florida. (PHOTO: Zoo Miami/Instagram)

A rare baby rhino was born using artificial insemination at Zoo Miami in Florida. (PHOTO: Zoo Miami/Instagram)

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Awwww, how cute is this!

A rare greater one-horned rhinoceros, otherwise known as a great Indian rhinoceros, made his highly anticipated way into the world this week at Zoo Miami.

The calf was born to mom Akuti and dad Suru and is the zoo’s second successful birth of the species, which is listed on the world’s vulnerable list.

But in an epic milestone – and making history – it was the first such birth via artificial insemination.

While Akuti and Suru did try to reproduce naturally they didn’t have any success, so a special team from the South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation (Serzarc), aided by Dr Monica Stoops of the Cincinnati Zoo, stepped in to help and Akuti was successfully artificially inseminated last year.

According to a press release, caretakers are waiting until they can safely separate the calf from its “very protective mother,” as the bonding process can be a challenge for first-time moms.

Once mom and baby are given the all-clear, the public will be able to view them. In the meantime they did make sure to post pictures – and an adorable video of the newborn drinking from his mama – on Instagram.

There are reportedly fewer than 3 000 Indian rhinos left on the planet. They’re mainly protected in reserves in India and Nepal, but numbers are dwindling due to poaching.

“Over the years, they’ve been poached extensively for their horn, which is used for medicinal purposes and for dagger handles that are revered in some Asian cultures,” Zoo Miami told Fox 35 Orlando News. “They’re the world’s fourth-largest land mammal, sometimes reaching a weight of 6 000 pounds (about 2 700kg).”

Zoo staff hope this recent birth is a step in maintaining “a healthy population under human care of this highly vulnerable species”.

Sources: Instagram, geek.com, people.com

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