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News & Information From Northeast India

Zoo Miami celebrates historic birth of Indian rhino by artificial insemination

Bringing joy to the conservation enthusiasts and wildlife lovers, a rare baby rhino was born a result of induced ovulation and artificial insemination at Zoo Miami in US on April 23.

The newborn is making history by being the first successful birth of the species as a result of induced ovulation and artificial insemination, according to the zoo. The authorities did not reveal the gender of the newborn.

The newborn came from Akuti, a 7-year-old greater one-horned Indian rhinoceros. “The baby doesn’t have a name yet but is doing totally fine. Vets will check in on the baby and report more about its health soon,” a report said.

“This will be performed when the staff feels that it can safely separate the infant from its very protective mother for the few minutes that the exam will take,” the zoo said. “It is critical that the mother and newborn are able to establish a bond, which can sometimes be a challenge for first-time mothers.”

This is the first baby for Akuti. She was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in January, 2012 and arrived at Zoo Miami in February, 2016. The father is 18-year-old Suru. He was also born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and arrived at Zoo Miami in October, 2003.

After several attempts at natural breeding with no success, a special team from the South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation (SEZARC), along with Dr Monica Stoops from the Cincinnati Zoo, met at Zoo Miami to artificially collect semen from Suru on January 8, 2018, and then artificially inseminated Akuti on January 9, 2018.

“Initial indications are that the newborn is healthy and doing well but more detailed information will not become available until the veterinary team is able to do a neonatal exam,” the zoo said.

“This very rare birth is not only significant for Zoo Miami, it is incredibly important to the international efforts to maintain a healthy population under human care of this highly vulnerable species throughout the world,” the authorities said.

A majority of the Indian rhinoceros population is found at Kaziranga National Park in Assam.

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