The Animal Facts Editorial Team
May 24, 2023 12:45 pm
Zoo Atlanta, Georgia, The United States
Zoo Atlanta have announced that their southern white rhinoceros, Kiazi is pregnant and will welcome a calf sometime from December 2023 to February 2024. Rhino gestation is among the longest in the animal kingdom lasting up to 16 months.
Animal care and veterinary teams at the Georgia attraction were able to confirm the pregnancy through faecal testing during Spring 2023.
This will be the first southern white rhinoceros to ever be born at Zoo Atlanta. It is the second rhino born in the zoo’s 134 history with the other being a black rhinoceros born during 2013.
The father of the calf is 12 year old Mumbles who is expecting his first calf. Kiazi has welcomed three previous calves at her previous accredited zoo home.
“We are thrilled to announce Kiazi’s pregnancy and to be able to look forward to sharing the joy of watching a rhino calf grow with our Members and guests,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “We also hope that the connections our visitors make with this youngster will also inspire conservation action and awareness of the urgent threats facing rhinos in the wild.”
Kiazi was recommended to breed by Mumbles by the AZA White Rhino Species Survival Plan® (SSP). This program aims to sustain a healthy, genetically diverse populations of southern white rhinos in accredited zoos.
White rhinos are the largest of the five rhinoceros species. They are classified as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Poaching is a significant threat to their survival. Southern white rhinoceros move in herds making them easier for poachers to locate.
While rhino horns are highly sought after they are made from keratin – the same substance as human hair and fingernails. They have no proven medicinal value.
You may note that the skin of a southern white rhinoceros is not white. Their name is not a reference to their skin colour but instead comes from a misinterpretation of the South African word, 'weit' which refers to the wide, square-shaped lips of this species.
Image: © Zoo Atlanta
Copyright The Animal Facts 2023