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Jaali the Black Rhino Celebrates Her 1st Birthday

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: December 24, 2020 6:10 pm

black rhino calf birthday potter park zoo

Jaali the black rhinoceros calf at the Potter Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Kaiti Chritz | Potter Park Zoo

Jaali, the first rhino calf to be born at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan, in its 100 year history will turn one on December 24th, 2020.


Staff are excited to celebrate the birthday which they began preparing for in 2018. Mother Doppsee and father Phineus began their introductions two years ago followed by a 16 month gestation period.


The five hoofstock keepers at the Potter Park Zoo have cared for the three rhinos over the last year. They have all developed a strong bond with the calf. During this time Jaali has increased in weight from 31.8kg (70lbs) to 408kg (900lbs). He still has lots of growing ahead of him with adult rhinos weighing as much as 1270kg (2800lbs).

black rhino calf birthday potter park zoo

Jaali the black rhinoceros calf at the Potter Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Kaiti Chritz | Potter Park Zoo

“He’s just so calm and patient like his mom. He has a quiet demeanor about him, and he’s very curious,” said Hoofstock Area Lead Zookeeper Kim Hernandez.


“Working with Jaali has been completely rewarding. It’s super amazing to work with an animal that only three are born in AZA zoos every year,” said Zookeeper Amy Pierce.

black rhino calf birthday potter park zoo

Jaali the black rhinoceros calf at the Potter Park Zoo showing her growth over the last year

Photo Credit: Kaiti Chritz | Potter Park Zoo

In the wild rhinos spend the first two or three years of their life in the wild. As such Jaali will remain at the zoo for at least the next year.


Only around 5,000 black rhinos remain in the wild and there are only 60 in accredited zoos in North America. This makes each birth extra special.

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Now the temperatures are starting to drop the rhino family are spending more of their day in the heated barn. A viewing window allows for guests to view them.


“Thank you to the community for supporting us, the zoo, and Jaali and watching him learn and grow over this last year. Especially during this time when we weren’t able to necessarily connect with you in person. All species of rhino are really important to our world and your contribution means that rhinos in the wild have a chance too – so thank you,” finished Potter Park Zoo Zookeeper Ashleigh Winklemann.

black rhino calf birthday potter park zoo

Jaali the black rhinoceros calf at the Potter Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Kaiti Chritz | Potter Park Zoo

Learn more about black rhinos here – Black Rhino Fact File | The Animal Facts


Learn more about Potter Park Zoo on their website – Potter Park Zoo

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