Endangered Rhino Born at Lincoln Park Zoo

Public debut has not yet been set for male calf

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013  |  Updated 4:27 PM CDT
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Kapuki and her calf will be bonding behind the scenes at the Harris Family Foundation Black Rhinoceros Habitat for the next couple of weeks.

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Lincoln Park Zoo officials on Thursday announced the birth of a big new addition: a 60-pound black rhino calf.

"Mother and baby are both doing wonderfully," Mark Kahmhout, the Curator of Mammals at the zoo, said of the male, who was born Monday.

The calf joins three adult black rhinos, including his mother, at the zoo. He's the first Eastern black rhinoceros born at Lincoln Park Zoo since 1989, officials said.

"The calf divides his time between nursing, following mom around, and napping, and that is exactly what a baby rhino should be doing," Kamhout said in a statement announcing the birth.

Black rhinos are critically endangered and a major target for poachers. There are only about 5,000 left in the wild. They wereon the brink of extinction in the 1990s because there horns are valued by poachers for medicinal purposes, the statement from the zoo said.

A public debut has not yet been set for the calf. He and his mother, who gave birth for the first time, will continue bonding behind the scenes at the zoo’s rhino habitat for the next couple of weeks.

Kapuki was recommended for breeding with 27-year-old Maku by the Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Last week, a baby gorilla injured in February in attack by an older ape returned to exhibit.

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