First Groundbreaking Offspring Headed
CINCINNATI -- A pregnant
Sumatran rhino at the Cincinnati Zoo is providing hope for the
survival of her endangered species. O C
was the first Sumatran rhino in 112 years to give birth to a calf
in captivity when she delivered 72-pound Andalas on Sept. 13,
2001. She is now 70 days into her second pregnancy at the zoo.
only about 300 Sumatran rhinos left, they are the most endangered
of the five rhino species and among the most endangered mammals
in the world.
Getting the rhinos to reproduce in captivity has proven just as challenging
as conservation in the wild," said Tom Foose, program director
for the International Rhino Foundation. "Neither program has
been easy or enormously successful. Both are going to be necessary
if the species is going to survive."
Emi and her partner, Ipuh,
are the only pair of breeding Sumatran rhinos in the United States.
Sumatran rhinos have a gestation period
of 475 days, and Emi lost five pregnancies in the first 90 days
of gestation before carrying
her first full-term calf. The fetus in 12-year-old Emi has a heartbeat
and is moving.
We're still in the scary zone," said Terri Roth, director of
the zoo's Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife. "But
we're cautiously optimistic."
Andalas, who now weighs more than
1,100 pounds, will be moved to the Los Angeles Zoo on Friday to
make room for his sibling.
to Cincinnati from the Los Angeles Zoo in 1995, to breed with Ipuh.
Both animals are on loan from the Indonesian government.
An estimated 70 percent of the Sumatran
rhino population has been lost since 1985, mainly to poaching and
loss of its tropical habitat
in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Stay tuned to WLWT Eyewitness News
5 and ChannelCincinnati.com for updates on Emi's prgress.
Copyright 2003 by Channel Cincinnati.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
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