DES MOINES, Iowa — Just in time for spring, there’s a new addition to the Blank Park Zoo.
Black Rhino Ayana gave birth to a healthy female calf on Friday. Zoo officials say the 112-pound calf was born at 4:24 p.m. and was standing and walking just over an hour later.
A preliminary exam indicates the rhino is healthy.
“Ayana is a very attentive and protective mother and taking very good care of the calf,” said Shannon McKinney, director of animal care.
The calf and Ayana will not be on display while zookeepers give them a chance to bond.
The new calf weighed significantly more than Tumani, the first calf born to Ayana and mate Kiano, who was 80 pounds at birth in 2016. Tumani still lives at the Blank Park Zoo.
The zoo is letting the public help choose a name for the rhino calf. A $50 donation allows you to suggest a name and the public will vote on the name once finalists have been chosen. The suggested name should be in an African language.
There are fewer than 1,000 black rhinos left in the world, making them a critically endangered species.