PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — And baby makes three!
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is announcing the birth of an endangered black rhinoceros calf. According to the IUCN-Red List, there are only 450 eastern black rhinos in Africa.
She is the second born at the Zoo since 2014.
Wednesday afternoon, zookeepers noticed the mother rhino, named Azizi, was a bit restless.
“She was showing signs that she was getting close to delivering her calf,” says Kathy Suthard, Lead Carnivore keeper. “Through the use of cameras installed in Azizi’s room we were able to watch her without interfering.”
Zookeepers say the tiny calf is doing well.
The keepers and Dr. Ginger Sturgeon, Director of Animal Health, will continue to monitor the calf to ensure that she continues to nurse.
Calves gain a whopping 30 pounds each week while feeding on mom’s milk. At about one month of age, keepers will introduce solid foods like alfalfa and sweet potatoes.
“We are very excited to welcome our second eastern black rhinoceros calf to the Zoo family,” says Dr. Barbara Baker, President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “Azizi’s calf is the first eastern black rhino born this year in North America. Last year there were two calves born in zoos. She is an ambassador for her cousins in the wild and provides us with an opportunity to educate our visitors about the plight of wild rhinos and how support of conservation efforts worldwide is critical to the preservation of the species.”
Unfortunately we will all have to wait a while to meet the newest Pittsburgher. Mom and baby will not be on exhibit until after they have had time to bond, and weather and temperature conditions are ideal.