(KMOV)—The St. Louis Zoo is welcoming a new and rare member to their family.
A critically endangered black rhinoceros male calf was born on January 14th, weighing 120.5 pounds.
According to zoo staff the calf was born to first-time parents, mother Kati Rain and father Ajabu, both 6 years old. This is the first time in 20 years that a black rhino was born at the zoo.
Zoo officials say the calf is nursing well, and he and the mother are currently in their off-display barn behind the scenes in River’s Edge. When the weather turns warmer, they will move into their outdoor habitat. A date has not yet been set for their debut.
This is the first black rhino calf to be born at the Saint Louis Zoo in 20 years. In all, eight black rhino calves have been born at the Zoo.
Officials say that the black rhino has experienced the most drastic decline of any rhino species. Black rhinos are heavily poached, because it is thought in many Asian countries that the rhino horn has medicinal uses.
The Saint Louis Zoo’s black rhinos are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Black Rhino Species Survival Plan, a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black rhinos in North American zoos. Currently there are 60 black rhinos in 38 institutions.