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Lincoln Park Zoo's newest delivery: A baby black rhino

Staff report

3:44 PM CDT, August 29, 2013

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An eastern black rhinoceros, a critically endangered species, has been born at Lincoln Park Zoo.

The 60-pound male calf was born to Kapuki, an 8-year-old first-time mother, on Monday. The father is Maku, a 27-year-old rhino was has four other offspring.

"Mother and baby are both doing wonderfully," said Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout in a statement from the zoo. "The calf divides his time between nursing, following mom around and napping. And that is exactly what a baby rhino should be doing."

The calf, who has not yet been named, is the first born at Lincoln Park Zoo since 1989, the zoo said. He won't make his first public appearance at the zoo for several weeks; both he and his mom will be out of the public eye until then. The zoo presently has three adult eastern black rhinos in residence – two males (Maku and Ricko) and one female (Kapuki).

Maku and Kapuki were brought together as part of the Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding and management strategy involving zoos in North America.

Maku has been at Lincoln Park Zoo since 2003. He had been born at Zoo Miami in 1986, and in 1988 was transferred to Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, Texas, where he stayed until coming to Chicago. Kapuki was born at Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 2005 and came to Lincoln Park in 2008.

Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered, according to the zoo. They are native to South Africa and there are about 5,000 in the wild.

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