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The Honolulu Zoo announces birth of its first baby rhinoceros

Aria and baby black rhinoceros at the Honolulu Zoo

WAIKĪKĪ – The Honolulu Zoo is happy to announce the arrival of a new baby Eastern black rhinoceros born on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, to parents Aria (mother) and Kendi (father). The male baby is the first offspring of the rhino couple who arrived at the Honolulu Zoo from San Diego last September and November. These parents were identified as a breeding pair as a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP).

“We are all so thrilled with the very first birth of a rhinoceros at the Honolulu Zoo,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos. “We celebrate a successful SSP pairing and are very fortunate to have such a special educational opportunity for our staff to observe Aria throughout her pregnancy and watch her delivery. Everyone is very excited to work with the black rhinos and monitor the baby’s progress and development. Our animal care staff have done an excellent job preparing for the baby’s arrival and it was truly remarkable to see the baby stand, walk, and start to bond with his mom within the first hour of being born.”

The calf weighs approximately 50 pounds, 1/50th of Aria’s weight of 2,600 pounds, and is nursing regularly. He is curious, displays a playful personality, and stays close to his mother. The baby’s name will be determined at a later date. Aria and her calf will share one half of the rhino exhibit and Kendi will occupy the other half until they can be safely integrated together.

Kendi can currently be seen on exhibit in the African Savanna near the play apparatus at the Honolulu Zoo. Aria and her baby are expected to venture out on exhibit within the next couple of months. Visitors are welcome to take a peek at the rhino family and are encouraged to be respectful while viewing and taking photos.

The critically endangered Eastern black rhino is the smaller of the two African rhino species, the other being the white rhino. They stand up to five feet high at the shoulder and are approximately 12 feet in length. They weigh up to 3,000 pounds, have three toes, thick dark brown to gray colored skin, and two fibrous keratin horns. They are best distinguished from the white rhino by their pointed, rather than square upper lip and are reported to live up to 35 years in the wild and up to 50 years in human care.

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