Baby rhino alert: Zoo Miami welcomes birth of rare, endangered rhino

Zoo Miami is celebrating the historic birth Tuesday of a rare, endangered greater one-horned Indian rhinoceros.

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"Initial indications are that the newborn is healthy and doing well but more detailed information will not become available until the veterinary team is able to do a neonatal exam," zoo officials said in a press release.

The staff wants to make sure the very protective mother and baby are bonding properly before trying to separate the pair to do a health check on the newborn.

Credit: Zoo Miami

Credit: Zoo Miami

After a 15-month gestation period, the birth marked the first successful attempt at artificial insemination of an Indian rhino.

"What makes this birth truly historic is that it is the first successful birth of this species anywhere in recorded history to be the result of induced ovulation and artificial insemination," zoo officials said.

The baby’s mother is a 7-year-old Indian rhino named Akuti and its father is an 18-year-old named Suru.

The decision to try artificial insemination was made after mating failed.

A team from the South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation and Dr. Monica Stoops, from the Cincinnati Zoo, collaborated on the successful artificial insemination leading to the birth of the rhino calf.

It will be at least several weeks before the new mother and baby are put on public display.

The Indian rhino is actually a conservation success story. Their numbers had dwindled too less than 200 in the wild in their home ranges in northern India and Nepal in the 20th century, but strict protection from Indian and Nepalese wildlife authorities helped their numbers rebound to some 3,600, according to the International Rhino Foundation.

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