A male eastern black rhinoceros calf was born July 1 at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and the birth marks the start of a third generation of rhinos here.
The calf, which has yet to be named, is the offspring of Kibibbi, 8, and Jimma, 22, and it makes the Zoo’s other female adult rhino, Inge, a grandmother.
The calf weighed about 80 pounds at birth and is growing fast. He already tips the scales at about 150 pounds. When he is fully grown he will weigh about 3,000 pounds.
Animal keepers will give mother and baby time to bond and hope they can be put on exhibit shortly in the Zoo’s African Savanna to join Inge and her 2-year-old daughter Johari. Jimma is currently on loan to the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.
“We couldn’t be happier with how well Kibibbi is taking care of her calf,” said Andi Kornak, the Zoo’s Curator of Animals. “But it’s not surprising considering what a good example Inge has set as a successful rhino mom.”
The Zoo has been very successful in breeding eastern black rhinos as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Program -- this is the fifth successful rhino birth at the Zoo since 2000. SSPs are cooperative breeding and management groups for endangered or threatened species including black rhinos, lowland gorillas, polar bears and African elephants. The Zoo’s new calf is the first eastern black rhino birth in North America since January, 2011.
The eastern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli) is classified as “critically endangered” in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the primary organization for quantifying conservation assessment efforts. The IUCN estimates there are less than 1,000 of this rhino subspecies left in the wild, concentrated primarily in Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.
Starting today, the Zoo hopes the public will help name the calf by visiting clemetzoo.com and voting for their favorite potential rhino name. Votes can be cast until August 9, and the winning name will be revealed on August 10.
Northeast Ohio’s most-visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with hours extended to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission is $12.25 per person, $8.25 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.
To learn more, visit clemetzoo.com or call (216) 661-6500.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo . . . Connecting People with Wildlife