The zoo's black rhino Seyia is pregnant and due in summer 2017, according to a post on the zoo's Facebook page. The Association of Zoo and Aquarium’s (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) determined that Seyia and Faru, a 10-year-old male black rhinoceros that arrived from Atlanta last summer, were a good genetic match and recommended that they breed.
And breed they have!
Seyia will be a first-time mom and is very early along in her pregnancy. The zoo says that black rhinos are known to be good moms, but zookeepers and vets will monitor her closely during and after her 15-month-long pregnancy. Black rhino calves weigh an average of 80 pounds at birth, meaning this will be one giant bundle of joy.
The black rhinoceros is critically endangered with more than 115 individuals being managed by the SSP. Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) is doing reproductive research on Faru and Seyia as part of an ongoing effort to save the black rhinos. All five species of rhinoceros — white, black, Indian, Sumatran, and Javan — are perilously close to extinction in the wild.