Michigan Zoo Announces Birth of Critically Endangered Black Rhino
Doppsee, a 12-year-old female rhino at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan, gave birth to a male calf at 5:40 a.m. Tuesday, the zoo said in a blog post. It is the first black rhino birth in the zoo's 100-year history.
"This is a monumental moment for Potter Park Zoo that has taken our staff years of planning and hard work," zoo Director Cynthia Wagner said. "We are dedicated to conserving rhinos and couldn't be more excited about this successful black rhino birth."
The birth is a big deal because black rhinos are "statistically and historically very hard to breed and be successful," Pat Fountain, an animal care supervisor at the zoo, told The New York Times. Only around two black rhinos are born at U.S. Association-of-Zoos-&-Aquariums-accredited facilities every year, Fountain said.
This birth marks the first for mother Doppsee. The father, Phineus, was brought to the zoo in 2017 from Texas specifically to breed with her, the zoo said. Fountain told The New York Times that their successful coupling was a "milestone."
The calf, who is not yet named, stood about an hour and a half after he was born, the zoo said. He seems to be nursing well.
"As this is Doppsee's first pregnancy, the animal care and veterinary staff will continue to monitor Doppsee and her calf closely in the next few weeks. But so far, the rhino calf appears healthy and we have observed frequent nursing shortly after the birth, which is encouraging," Potter Park Zoo veterinarian Dr. Ronan Eustace said in the blog post.
The calf and his mother will be given space to bond in privacy until spring 2020, when they will be viewable by zoo visitors. In the meantime, the zoo will post updates on its blog, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
In the wild, black rhinos are threatened with extinction because of poaching and habitat loss.
Around 98 percent of black rhinos live in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia, The New York Times reported. Their numbers fell by 98 percent between 1960 and 1995 to less than 2,500, mostly because of the actions of European hunters and settlers.World Wildlife Fund said, according to ABC News.
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By David Reichmuth
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Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>