Endangered Rhino Calf Born At The Wilds


UPDATED: Thursday September 4, 2014 1:56 PM

The Wilds welcomed a greater one-horned Asian rhinoceros, also known as an Indian rhino, on Sat., Aug. 30. The calf was born out in pasture with the rest of the herd and is the sixth one-horned rhino born at the Wilds.

“We had been watching the mother very closely over the past week. Her udder development and behavior told us the birth was imminent, however there are several good hiding places across 100 acres,” said Dan Beetem, Director of Animal Management. “The calf is doing well and already enjoys swimming in the lake with mom.”

The greater one-horned rhino calf, whose sex has yet to be determined, marks the continued success of the greater one-horned rhino breeding program at the conservation center located in southeast Ohio.

The calf is the third for 15-year-old dam, Sanya, and the third for 11-year-old sire, Rustum, who came to the Wilds in 2007 as part of a group imported by the Zoological Society of San Diego to bring new genetics into the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) program.

Born after a gestation of nearly 16 months, one-horned rhinos can grow to be 4,800 pounds and six feet tall at the shoulder. Their range is the plains or woodlands of northern India, Bhutan and Nepal.

There are now six greater one-horned rhinos and 13 southern white rhinos at the Wilds. The calf is currently with the herd and will someday play a vital role in the Species Survival Plan (SSP).

According to the International Rhino Foundation, an organization that receives support from the Wilds, the greater one-horned rhinoceros is a success story in conservation. In 1990, their population had dwindled to 200, but in 2005 their numbers increased to 3,200 in the wild, and 150 in human care. However, poaching and encroachment are still concerns for wild populations.