Monday, August 19, 2013
ATLANTA (AP) -- Zoo Atlanta officials say they're celebrating the birth of the zoo's first-ever eastern black rhinoceros calf.
Zoo spokeswoman Keisha Hines says 7-year-old Andazi gave birth to the first eastern black rhino to be born in Zoo Atlanta's 124-year history on Saturday.
Veterinarians are giving the calf time to bond privately with its mother before meeting the public. Rhino calves are born without the species' signature horn.
Zoo Atlanta CEO Raymond King says the eastern black rhinoceros species is critically endangered and deserves more attention.
The species was hunted to near extinction in the 1980s because of poachers looking for horns, skin and other body parts -- which are believed to have medicinal values in some cultures.
The eastern black rhino's relative, the western black rhino, was declared extinct in 2011.
(Copyright 2013, The Associated Press)