Christmas miracle: Critically endangered black rhino born for first time in zoo’s 100-year history

A black rhino has been born for the first time in a zoo’s 100-year history and staff have hailed it a “monumental moment.”

The species is being pushed to the brink of extinction due to illegal poaching and loss of habitat, according to the zoo and there are thought to be just 5,000 left in the wild.

This little boy rhino was born at Potter Park Zoo, in Michigan, on December 24 to his 12-year-old black rhino mom Doppsee, UNILAD reports.

Only around 50 black rhinos, which are native to eastern and southern Africa, can be found in zoos in the U.S.

First Look at Potter Park Zoo's Newborn Black Rhino Calf

Prepare yourself for some serious cuteness… this little boy is making history as the first black rhino calf born at Potter Park Zoo! Read more about the monumental birth →

Posted by Potter Park Zoo on Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The baby is Doppsee’s first calf and according to the zoo’s website “animal care and veterinary staff at the zoo report that the calf stood up about an hour and a half after birth and appears to be nursing well.

“So far, the rhino calf appears healthy and we have observed frequent nursing shortly after the birth, which is encouraging,” said Potter Park Zoo veterinarian, Dr. Ronan Eustace.

Mother and calf will be given their private time to bond and will not be visible to the public until the spring, according to the zoo’s website.

"They're being poached at such a high rate, they could be gone within our lifetime." What is the Species Survival Plan…

Posted by Potter Park Zoo on Saturday, December 28, 2019

“This is a monumental moment for Potter Park Zoo that has taken our staff years of planning and hard work,” Potter Park Zoo director Cynthia Wagner said.

“We are dedicated to conserving rhinos and couldn’t be more excited about this successful black rhino birth.”

Such a wonderful Christmas present for all zoo staff and animal lovers.

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