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Kansas City Zoo expecting newborn endangered rhinoceros this winter

Kansas City Zoo rhinocerous
Posted at 12:25 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 13:26:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Zoo announced Wednesday that a critically endangered eastern black rhinoceros is expected to be born in December 2022 or January 2023.

The newborn is expected to weigh 75-100 lbs after its birth.

The 15-year-old mother Zuri is currently in her third trimester of the 15-16 month gestation period, the zoo said. She and her father, Ruka, 11, arrived at the Kansas City Zoo from Oregon in 2018. Zuri was born at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, while Ruka was born at the St. Louis Zoo. This is the first calf for them both.

Zuri is receiving weekly ultrasounds and blood hormone monitoring to track the development of the calf, according to the Kansas City Zoo.

Eastern black rhinoceros are critically endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are around 740 members of the species in the wild and 53 in Association of Zoos & Aquariums accredited facilities. Poachers are the biggest threat to the species, the zoo says.