Monday, July 6, 2020

Potter Park Zoo welcomes endangered rhino over winter break

January 10, 2020
<p>Courtesy of Potter Park Zoo</p>

Courtesy of Potter Park Zoo

On Christmas Eve, a black rhino was born at Potter Park Zoo for the first time in the zoo's 100 year history.

The calf, which was birthed by Doppsee, one of Potter Park's two black rhinos, stood up about an hour and a half after birth and has been nursing well.

“As this is Doppsee’s first pregnancy, the animal care and veterinary staff will continue to monitor Doppsee and her calf closely in the next few weeks. But so far, the rhino calf appears healthy and we have observed frequent nursing shortly after the birth, which is encouraging,” said Potter Park Zoo veterinarian, Dr. Ronan Eustace.

Illegal poaching and habitat loss have made the black rhino critically endangered, with only about 5,000 remaining in the wild there are just over 50 black rhinos in the care of AZA zoos, with less than two being born in human care each year, according to a press release from Potter Park Zoo.

“This is a monumental moment for Potter Park Zoo that has taken our staff years of planning and hard work. We are dedicated to conserving rhinos and couldn’t be more excited about this successful black rhino birth,” said Cynthia Wagner, Director of Potter Park Zoo. 

After a naming contest, it was decided on Jan. 9 that the baby rhino would be called Jaali, which is pronounced like "jolly" and means "powerful" in Swahili, according to the Lansing State Journal.

Jaali and Doppsee will be in a barn and not viewable to the public until weather permits them to move to an outdoor enclosure in spring 2020. Potter Park will regularly be releasing updates, including photos and videos of the pair on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

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