PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is welcoming an important new addition to their family.
The zoo is now home to a baby black rhinoceros.
Zoo officials say it’s the first time in more than 45 years that a black rhino has been born here in Pittsburgh.
According to the zoo, the baby girl weighs in at about 70 pounds and appears to be doing well. The keepers are closely monitoring the baby and she is bonding with her mother, Azizi.
In a press release, the Director of Animal Health at the zoo Dr. Ginger Takle, said: “We are happy to see how attentive Azizi is with her calf. It is important for the calf to continue to nurse and gain weight especially during the first three months which are a critical time for rhino calves.”
Zoo officials say there are just 4,800 black rhinos left in the wild. Their population decreased by 96 percent between 1970 and 1992.
Pittsburgh Zoo President and CEO Dr. Barbara Baker says the decline is due to poaching.
Dr. Baker says in a press release: “The birth of a black rhino is significant because they are critically endangered and Azizi’s calf will introduce new blood lines into the Zoo population.”
The zoo reports the baby won’t make her public debut until she’s had enough time to bond with her mother and the weather conditions are right for the African native.