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SOS Rhino : In the News : Kansas City Zoo welcomes baby rhino

Kansas City Zoo welcomes baby rhino

  Associated Press
Posted on Mon, Feb. 09, 2004

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Luyisa, an endangered eastern black rhinoceros who lives at the Kansas City Zoo, is a mother for the second time.

Staff at the Kansas City Zoo watched Sunday morning as she gave birth to a 75-pound female calf. The birth followed a 477-day pregnancy.

Chief zoo veterinarian Kirk Suedmeyer said the mother and her concrete-colored offspring are doing fine. The baby rhino, who has not been named, was on her feet within minutes of her birth and happily nursing by noon.

"It's just a life experience to witness it," Suedmeyer said.

He was there in 2000 when Luyisa gave birth to her first calf, Kifaru Malika. Luyisa was born in the wild in 1993 and was brought to Kansas City in 1997.

"It's still every bit as exciting, and you get just as apprehensive," Suedmeyer said. "It's just an absolute relief when they give birth and you don't have to intercede."

The International Rhino Foundation estimates there are only about 500 eastern black rhinos left in the wild and about 175 in captivity.

The public won't be able to see the calf until April. Until then, pictures of the calf are available on the Internet on the Web site of KMBC-TV.