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Eastern black rhino pregnancy update
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ultrasound view of rhino fetus suggests that first-time mom Andazi is progressing well 
 
Andazi the eastern black rhinoceros appears to be progressing well as she approaches the final trimester of her 15-month pregnancy. The Animal Management and Veterinary Teams have obtained an ultrasound view of her developing fetus. 
 
Andazi, 6, and male Utenzi, 8, were placed together for breeding a little over a year ago. Since confirming her pregnancy in December 2012, animal care professionals have been training Andazi to participate in voluntary ultrasounds. In mid-May, their efforts were rewarded by images of a moving fetus and the outline of its ribs. 
 
Andazi’s birth window is estimated at anytime between late July and late November, but she is most likely to deliver in August or September. The calf will be the first rhino ever born at Zoo Atlanta; the new arrival will also be a first for both its parents. 
 
Eastern black rhinos are a species with an urgent conservation message. Hunted almost to extinction in the 1980s, their 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.