CUMBERLAND, OH (WCMH) – A baby greater one-horned rhino was born Friday at the Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio.
The greater one-horned rhino was nearly hunted to the point of extinction in the early 20th century.
The newborn was discovered the early morning of Nov. 11, and is receiving expert care from his mother. This is the seventh greater one-horned rhino to be born at the Wilds.
The calf and his mom, Sanya, are doing well and have been bonding in the barn on the Wilds property. The animal care team has been monitoring the pair closely, but has not needed to provide any immediate assistance to the experienced mother. Calves usually weigh more than 100 pounds at birth and gain a few pounds every day. An adult greater one-horned rhino can reach weights of about 4,000 to 6,000 pounds.
Sanya, born in Toronto in 1999, has now given birth to four calves since arriving at the Wilds in 2004. The father, Rustum, was born at a zoo in India and imported to the United States in 2007 in an attempt to bring genetic diversity to the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). This newborn is Rustum’s fifth offspring.
The Wilds, home to four greater one-horned rhinos, is one of only 26 facilities in North America to care for this species. The Wilds is also home to 13 southern white rhinos. In total, more than 500 animals representing 29 species from around the world make up the animal population at the open-range, natural landscape at the Wilds.
Once listed as an endangered species, the greater one-horned rhino have seen a steady population increase thanks to strict government protection. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there were only 600 individuals surviving in their native ranges of India and Nepal by 1975. Since then, researchers estimate the population has grown to exceed 3,000 greater one-horned rhinos living in these areas.
Visitors to the Wilds will have a chance to view the animal when it opens for the season in May.