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SOS Rhino : In the News : World's first rhino conceived by artificial insemination doing well

World's first rhino conceived by artificial insemination doing well

  The Associated Press

Published: February 22, 2007

BUDAPEST, Hungary: The world's first rhino baby conceived by artificial insemination is developing well and weighs over 80 kilograms (176 pounds), zoo officials said in a statement Thursday.

The unnamed female, who weight 58 kilograms (128 pounds) when she was born Jan. 24, drinks about two liters (.45 gallons) of milk a day, and "seems to love to play tag with the caretakers," the zoo said.

The 1-month-old rhinoceros was "developing well," and could be viewed by zoo visitors through a screen while being fed, the zoo said. She will appear in public within a few months.

Mother Lulu, 26, who failed to conceive naturally when kept with a male, became pregnant in 2005 after a group of veterinarians from Germany, Austria and Hungary started insemination.

Lulu underwent insemination again on Tuesday — only a month after giving birth — as fertility levels are highest in female rhinos right after they have delivered calves, the zoo said.

Veterinarians for Lulu's second insemination used the sperm of Simba, a male rhino from the zoo in Colchester, Britain. Results on whether Lulu was pregnant would be known within 80 days.

Baby rhinos are carried for about 16-17 months.

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