Critically endangered black rhino born on December 24 in Christmas miracle
A zoo in Michigan played host to its own Christmas miracle when a critically endangered black rhino was born on Christmas Eve.
There are just 5,000 of these animals left in the wild and just 50 living in captivity, so every birth is a monumental occasion for the continued survival of the species.
This is the incredible moment the baby rhino was born:
The baby rhino, which is currently unnamed, was born at Potter Park Zoo in Michigan on December 24. Born to Doppsee, a 12-year old black rhino, the calf is a boy.
The birth isn't just significant from a conservation point of view, but also for the zoo, which has never seen the birth of a rhino in its 100-year history. The baby is Doppsee's first calf.
Staff at the zoo revealed that the calf was standing and walking just an hour and a half after his birth. As per the zoo's offical blog, he will be nursed for the first few months of his life and kept behind the scenes with his mother.
It is believed that the baby rhino will be available for the public to view sometime during spring 2020.
Cynthia Wagner, Director of Potter Park Zoo, said of the birth: "This is a monumental moment for Potter Park Zoo that has taken our staff years of planning and hard work. We are dedicated to conserving rhinos and couldn’t be more excited about this successful black rhino birth."
The park vet, Dr. Ronan Eustace, said: "So far, the rhino calf appears healthy and we have observed frequent nursing shortly after the birth, which is encouraging."
As per WWF, black rhinos are under threat from poaching and a loss of habitat. Their population dramatically fell during the 20th century, dropping by 90% between 1960 and 1995.
While efforts have been made to protect these majestic animals, with some success, their continued survival depends on us humans giving them the best chance possible.
Hopefully, this calf's birth will be one of many that will help the black rhino population to recover.