Black Rhino Welcomes Calf 6 Months After Mating Partner's Death: This 'Pregnancy Was Quite a Shock'
Bidi, the critically endangered eastern black rhinoceros, welcomed a male calf on Monday at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas
Congratulations are in order for Bidi, the eastern black rhinoceros who welcomed a male calf at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, on Monday.
"Both mom and baby are doing well," a statement from the zoo read. "Bibi's pregnancy was quite a shock since the Zoo's male rhino, Klyde, passed away in Sept. 2020, and the pair had only two successful breeding attempts observed during their time together at SCZ."
According to the zoo, Bidi became pregnant in October 2019, but "continued to show signs of cycling throughout the 16-month gestation leading caretakers to believe that breeding attempts had been unsuccessful."
The rhino mom's caretakers were "taken by surprise" when they saw lab results last month indicating that she may actually be pregnant, zoo officials said.
Without access to ultrasound equipment, zookeepers could only speculate the calf's gestational age and due date. Workers found out about the calf's impending arrival a few weeks ago when "Bibi's behavior began to show that a baby may be on the way soon," according to the zoo.
Animal caretakers have yet to weigh the male calf, though Bidi clocked in at an impressive 2,899 lbs. before giving birth, the zoo said.
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"We couldn't think of a better way to carry on Klyde's legacy!" the Sedgwick County Zoo added in their statement.
Klyde died on Sept. 5 at the age of 12 after collapsing in his habitat. At the time, the zoo described him in a tribute as a "a special ambassador for his species" with a "gentle demeanor and sweet personality."
Eastern black rhinos are considered critically endangered by the IUCN Red List, though their population is increasing.