Is that the rhino calf?
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Look for sightings of the exciting new arrival starting September 3
The Zoo Atlanta nursery’s biggest feet may come trotting into public view as early as Tuesday, September 3, when the eastern black rhinoceros calf and his mother, Andazi, have their first opportunity to explore their outdoor habitat.
Lucky visitors may be treated to sightings of the 2-week-old calf, who has been bonding behind-the-scenes with his protective first-time mother. The pair’s visibility should continue to increase as Andazi becomes more comfortable with having her new offspring accompany her into their exhibit.
Estimated to weigh around 60 pounds at his birth on August 17, 2013, the calf is the first rhino born at Zoo Atlanta in its more than 124-year history. As is typical for their solitary species, the calf’s father, Utenzi, will not share space with his son.
The calf represents a critically endangered species with an urgent conservation message. Hunted almost to extinction in the 1980s, eastern black rhinoceros populations have experienced near-catastrophic decline in recent years, largely as a result of poaching for their horns, skin and bodily fluids, which are believed by some cultures to have curative properties. Conservation programs and stringent patrolling of rhino habitat have helped populations increase to about 4,800 in the wild, but the species remains critically endangered.
Stay tuned for exciting updates on the calf’s debut.