The baby rhino, Zenzele the rhino mom's seventh, is the Indianapolis Zoo's first live-birth white rhino calf
A mother rhinoceros and the staff at the Indianapolis Zoo celebrated a joyous event on Sunday that had nothing to do with the Super Bowl!
The calf, who has yet to be named, was born to a 19-year-old rhinoceros named Zenzele on Sunday at 9:13 a.m. local time. The newborn is the rhino mom's seventh calf.
"Zenzele is an experienced and confident mom, and everything is going very well," said senior rhinoceros keeper Amber Berndt in a statement. According to the zoo's release, the calf and its mother are relaxed, content, and doing well overall.
"Our Life Sciences team has done a tremendous job. It is a privilege for our Zoo to care for these magnificent animals and advocate for their conservation," Dr. Robert Shumaker, the president & CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, said in a statement.
The mother and calf will spend time indoors alone together before the calf is introduced to the three other rhinoceroses who live at the Indianapolis Zoo. A female rhino at the zoo named Gloria is Zenzele's grandmother and the calf's great-grandmother.
The zoo now houses five rhinoceroses, including Zenzele, her calf, Gloria, a male named Spike, and a female named Mambo.
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Per the International Rhino Foundation, the white rhino is one of two rhino species experiencing a decline in its population as of 2023. The species' population reportedly increased over the past year, but the increase hasn't occurred long enough to be classified as a trend — it's only a potentially positive sign.
All five rhino species, including the black rhino, the greater one-horned rhino, the Javan rhino, the Sumatran rhino, and the white rhino, are threatened by poaching and loss of habitat.
Per the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), white rhinos are currently classified as "near-threatened."
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