Central Oregon DailyOh, baby! Critically endangered rhino born at Oregon Zoo

Oh, baby! Critically endangered rhino born at Oregon Zoo

Oh, baby! Critically endangered rhino born at Oregon Zoo

Oh, baby! Critically endangered rhino born at Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo in Portland announced the birth of a rhino Tuesday, bringing in another member of a species that the zoo says is critically endangered.

The yet-to-be-named newborn was born to 11-year-old eastern black rhino Jozi Monday night. The sex of the baby has not yet been determined.

“Everyone is really excited about it,” said Chad Harmon, who supervises the zoo’s rhino area, in a statement released by the zoo. “The most satisfying thing for me is to see Jozi taking such great care of her baby. These first few days are especially critical, so we’re being very cautious and giving them as much quiet time as possible.” 

For now, Jozi and baby are not available for viewing while they bond. The zoo says the calf is nursing well. Veterinarians are keeping a hands-off approach for now.

“Our care staff and veterinary team have prepared for this day, giving Jozi everything she needed for a successful birth,” Harmon said. “They’re ready to help if needed, but thankfully, Jozi’s doing a great job all by herself so far.” 

Rhino babies typically weigh around 100 pounds at birth.

Jozi and her companion, King, belong to the eastern subspecies of black rhinoceros, which is considered critically endangered. In 2011, the western subspecies of black rhino was declared extinct.  

“These rhinos represent a species that’s among the most endangered on the planet,” Kelly Gomez, who oversees the Zoo’s Africa area, said in a statement. “Poaching and the illegal wildlife trade have wiped out 96% of the world’s black rhino population. In South Africa alone, we’re losing almost a rhino a day. Hopefully, their story can help inspire a new chapter in the conservation of this incredible species.”  

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