Akuti, a 7-year-old greater one-horned Indian rhinoceros, gave birth Tuesday at 12:30 a.m. after a 15-month pregnancy, the zoo announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday, calling the event “truly historic.”
It is the first birth for Akuti and only the second successful birth of the species at the zoo. The baby rhino’s father is 18-year-old Suru.
The gender of the baby rhino is unknown at this point, according to The Miami Herald. The zoo said the veterinary team has not been able to do a neonatal exam yet.
“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. 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,” officials said, in part, online.
According to the zoo, natural breeding attempts were unsuccessful, so a team of reproductive specialists from the South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation (SEZARC) artificially collected semen from Suru in January 2018 and artificially inseminated Akuti the next day.
Akuti — which means “Princess” in Hindi — was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 2012 and was moved to Zoo Miami in February 2016. Suru was also born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and was moved to Zoo Miami in 2003.
Greater one-horned rhinos, also known as Indian rhinos are poached for their horns and today, there are fewer than 3,000 in the wild in protected areas, according to Zoo Miami. (File photo)