CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Cincinnati Zoo says a female Indian rhino calf born recently in New York was produced by artificial insemination using sperm from a now-dead Cincinnati rhino.
Zoo officials call the calf born June 5 at the Buffalo Zoo a victory for endangered species.
The father was named Jimmy and died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2004. His sperm was frozen, stored and later taken to Buffalo.
The calf's 17-year-old mother is named Tashi. She previously conceived and successfully gave birth through natural breeding in 2004 and 2008. But her mate died, and Buffalo's new male Indian rhino hasn't reached sexual maturity.
“We are excited to share the news of Tashi's calf with the world as it demonstrates how collaboration and teamwork among the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) organizations are making fundamental contributions to rhino conservation,” said Dr. Monica Stoops, Reproductive Physiologist at the Cincinnati Zoo’s CREW. “It is deeply heartening to know that the Cincinnati Zoo's beloved male Indian rhino Jimmy will live on through this calf and we are proud that CREW's CryoBioBank™ continues to contribute to this endangered species’ survival.”
Buffalo officials say the calf weighed 144 pounds at birth. They say there are only 59 Indian rhinos in captivity in North America and about 2,500 in the wild.
“Tashi and the calf are doing well, and are spending this time bonding indoors,” said Joe Hauser, Buffalo Zoo's rhino keeper. “Over the next few weeks rhino keepers will continue to monitor their time together and as the calf gets stronger and more confident we will make the announcement on their official public debut.”