CHICAGO — An endangered Eastern black rhino is pregnant at Lincoln Park Zoo.
The rhino, whose name is Kapuki, is expected to give birth to her calf in May, according to the zoo. Kapuki has had one other baby, named King and born in 2013, with Maku, who is also the father of her new baby.
“The potential of a successful calf means much more than a cute face at the zoo. A birth represents preservation of a critically endangered species that faces a lot of challenges,” said curator of Mammals Mike Murray. “We remain cautiously optimistic that Kapuki, as an experienced dam, will know just what to do.”
Zoo fans who want to support Kapuki can donate to buy the rhino her favorite treats, like hay for $8 or apples for $6. The zoo is also collecting donations to buy a new scale to use to weigh the baby and a weeble wobble ball the baby and other rhinos will be able to play with. Donations can be made online.
Rhinos are typically pregnant for up to 16 months and their newborn babies weigh about 85 pounds, according to the zoo. Once fully grown, Eastern black rhinos can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds and stand up to 12 feet long and 5 feet tall at the shoulder.
Eastern black rhinos are considered a critically endangered species. Poachers hunt them for their horns.
The zoo will keep fans updated on Kapuki and her calf through social media and on its blog.
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