DES MOINES, Iowa- The Des Moines Blank Park Zoo's announcing the arrival of a baby black rhino.
Officials with the zoo say female calf, arrived April 5th, appears to be healthy, and weighed 112 pounds at birth.
Blank Park Zoo will have a fund-raising naming opportunity for a chance to name the baby rhino. The zoo's accepting $50 donations for the opportunity to suggest one name or $100 to suggest three names. The zoo is requesting names be in an African language. When the finalists have been selected, a public vote will be held.
The zoo announced the birth is very significant because fewer than 1,000 eastern black rhinos remain on the planet, because of poaching caused by the demand for rhino horn.
“Because of the 15 - 17 month-long gestation, it is hard for rhino births to keep up with the pressures of poaching. For this reason, they are at a tipping point of deaths outnumbering births,” said Vukovich. “It is senseless because rhino horns have no medicinal value.”
Zoo officials have stated that the baby rhino will not be viewable on exhibit to allow for mom and baby bonding time. Zoo officials will release pictures, video and live webcams on its webpage and social media platforms and can be accessed viawww.blankparkzoo.com.