LANSING, Mich. (WJW) — For the first time in its history, the Potter Park Zoo in Michigan is welcoming a black rhino calf.
According to the zoo’s Facebook page, 12-year-old Doppsee gave birth to the male calf at 5:40 a.m. on December 24.
“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.
Black rhinos are considered critically endangered and are on the cusp of extinction due to illegal poaching and loss of habitat.
The zoo reports that only about 5,000 black rhinos are alive in the wild today.
“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.
Visit the zoo’s Facebook page for more updates on the rhino calf.