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Zoo welcomes baby rhino

Rhino_calf_Monica,__Lead__Rhino_Keeper_Joe_Hauser,_CREW_Reproductive_Physiologist_Dr._Monica_Stoops_(1).jpg
Photo provided by the Buffalo Zoo
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The Buffalo Zoo has announced a new arrival. A female Indian rhinoceros calf, named Monica, was born to mother Tashi on June 5th.

The birth was made possible by artificial insemination from a male rhino in the Cincinnati zoo, who has been deceased for a decade.

Tashi has previously borne two offspring through natural breeding in 2004 and 2008, but her mate has since died. The Indian rhinoceros is an endangered species, and this marks the first time that cryogenically frozen sperm was successfully used to fertilize a female rhino. Monica weighed 144 pounds at birth.

The Buffalo Zoo’s head rhino keeper, Joe Hauser, and veterinarian, Dr. Kurt Volle, worked closely with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) to plan and execute the successful AI procedure. The CREW team also assisted with monitoring and caring for Tashi during her 16 month gestation.

Zoo keepers said  was critical to get Tashi pregnant again and reached out to CREW for its expertise.  

“We are excited to share the news of Tashi's calf with the world, as it demonstrates how collaboration and teamwork among AZA Zoos (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) 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.”

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.