Blank Park Zoo Rhino Ayana Could Give Birth Any Day

Ayana, a black rhino at the Blank Park Zoo. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa – A new addition to the black rhino family at the Blank Park Zoo could arrive any day.

The zoo announced rhino Ayana’s pregnancy last month, saying she could be ready to give birth by February 25th.

Well, that date has come and gone and Ryan Bickel with the zoo says it looks like Ayana is showing physical signs she could have the calf soon. She has started producing milk and the size of her baby bump leads them to believe the not-so-little baby will arrive sooner rather than later.

The gestation period for rhinos can be 15 to 17 months. Ayana and Kiano, the male rhino, were bred twice — once at the end of November and again in mid-December of 2017.

The zoo based its original due date on the dates of breeding and the length of her first pregnancy, 451 days. The

Ayana and Kiano’s daughter, Tumani, was born in 2016 and also lives at the Blank Park Zoo. She will likely move on to another zoo to participate in the species survival plan breeding program.

The black rhino is a critically endangered mammal, hunted nearly to extinction for its ivory horns.  There are only a few hundred left living in the wild and a few hundred more at zoos across the globe.

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