CINCINNATI, OH (August 28, 2020) – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s week-old baby eastern black rhinoceros is a boy! The calf, born August 21, is doing well and needs a name. To raise funds for the care and feeding of mom, Seyia, and baby, the Zoo is throwing them a virtual baby shower! Each $100 shower gift comes with a chance to name the baby, meet the rhinos, and get a Rhino Rembrandt painting!
“This is a rare calf and a rare naming opportunity! The rhino team named the calf born in 2017 (Kendi) and definitely had some ideas for this one,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of mammals Christina Gorsuch. “Knowing the importance of the fundraising this year, we all agreed that offering this special honor to a Zoo supporter would be good for everyone. Part of the agreement, however, is that the name must be mutually agreed upon by winner and Zoo staff. So, we won’t end up with a ‘Rhino McRhinoface’.”
A $100 shower gift covers the cost of all the orchard grass, alfalfa hay, apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, apple and oat biscuits, and Vitamin E that a rhino could eat in a week! So, each contribution makes a big difference in addition to making the supporter eligible to meet mom and baby rhino behind the scenes with three other friends or family members! It’s a great opportunity for co-workers, students, or friends to split the cost of a gift and share the tour and naming rights if they win!
Click here to purchase a shower gift get a chance to name the baby! Shower gifts may be purchased now through September 27 to give Virtual Zoofari attendees the chance to be included in the fun. Additional information and a shower invitation will be sent to all who give a shower gift. The winning name will be announced during a virtual baby shower on October 1.
The second calf for mom Seyia and dad Faru arrived after 16-months of gestation and about 30 minutes of labor!! He is spunky and energetic, according to Gorsuch, and wants to spar when mom just wants to rest.
“Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered and have such a long gestation that every calf born is incredibly important for the population,” said Gorsuch. “This calf is the first black rhino calf born this year in North America and only the eighth of its kind born in the last three years in North America.”
In 2015, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), the body that manages populations in Zoos, determined that parents Faru and Seyia were a good genetic match and recommended that they breed. Faru came to Cincinnati from Atlanta in the summer of 2015 and was introduced to Seyia.
Eastern black rhinos, native to Eastern and Central Africa, have two large horns made of keratin that they use for defense, intimidation, and feeding. An adult can weigh anywhere between 1,760 and 3,080 pounds, and newborns (calves) weigh between 73 – 121 pounds. The species is critically endangered due to poaching and habitat loss. Only an estimated 5,000 black rhinos remain in the world, and approximately 60 are managed by the SSP in 25 AZA Accredited North American Zoos.
The public will be able to see mom and calf in their outdoor habitat in the next week or two, weather and health depending. Dad, Faru, will be out daily. Black rhinos are solitary animals, so there are no plans to unite the three. Look for updates on the calf’s progress on CincinnatiZoo.org and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.