Potter Park Zoo celebrates birth of black rhino calf on Christmas Eve

Black Rhinos are critically endangered

Potter Park Zoo Doppsee and calf.
Potter Park Zoo Doppsee and calf.

LANSING, Mich. – The Potter Park Zoo in Lansing is celebrating the birth of a black rhino calf.

Doppsee, the zoo’s 12-year-old black rhino, gave birth to her first calf at 5:40 a.m. on Christmas Eve. The zoo said the calf stood up after about an hour and a half after birth and appears to be nursing well.

“As this is Doppsee’s first pregnancy, the animal care and veterinary staff will continue to monitor Doppsee and her calf closely in the next few weeks. But so far, the rhino calf appears healthy and we have observed frequent nursing shortly after the birth, which is encouraging,” said Potter Park Zoo veterinarian, Dr. Ronan Eustace.

The mother and calf won’t be visible to the public until the spring. The zoo said it will be posting regular updates, including pictures and video of Doppsee and the calf on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

Black rhinos are critically endangered and being pushed to the bring of extinction by illegal poaching and loss of habitat. There are an estimated 5,000 individual black rhinos alive in the wild. There are just over 50 black rhinos in the care of AZA accredited zoos, according to Potter Park Zoo.

“This is a monumental moment for Potter Park Zoo that has taken our staff years of planning and hard work. We are dedicated to conserving rhinos and couldn’t be more excited about this successful black rhino birth,” said Cynthia Wagner, Director of Potter Park Zoo.

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