In a big win for conservationists, a baby rhino was born In Zoo Miami by means of artificial insemination and induced ovulation. This is the very first time ever in recorded history that a rhino has been born in this manner.
The mother of the baby was a 7-year old greater one-horned rhinoceros named ‘Akuti,’ which means ‘Princess’ in Hindi. Born in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 2012 and brought to Zoo Miami in 2016, Akuti is a first-time mother. The father of the baby is 18-year old ‘Suru,’ which means ‘Beginning’ in Bengali, who was brought to Zoo Miami much earlier in 2003.
The baby does not have a name yet and its gender is unknown because the veterinary team haven’t been able to do a neonatal examination yet. However, both the mother and the baby are doing well.
Natural attempts at breeding the rhinoceros did not yield successful results. So, a team of experts from the South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation (SEZARC) began the insemination process in January 2018. Akuti was inseminated on 9th January 2018 and after a 15-month pregnancy period, gave birth to the little rhino on 24th April 2019.
Akuti was regularly and closely monitored by specialists across her pregnancy.
Unfortunately, the Indian rhinos are one of the most endangered species across the world and are extensively poached for their horns. Today, there are less than 3,000 such rhinos in the world. There are, however, one of the biggest animals and can weight as much as 6,000 pounds!
Isn’t this wonderful news? Do you think that artificial insemination is the answer to conservation efforts?
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