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SOS Rhino : In the News : Zoo's Rare Rhino Expecting Again

Zoo's Rare Rhino Expecting Again


June 18 2003

First Groundbreaking Offspring Headed For LA

CINCINNATI -- A pregnant Sumatran rhino at the Cincinnati Zoo is providing hope for the survival of her endangered species. O C

Emi 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.

With 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.

Emi came 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 for updates on Emi's prgress.

Copyright 2003 by Channel Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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