Critically Endangered Black Rhino Is Born On Christmas Eve

by : Emily Brown on : 28 Dec 2019 12:02
Critically endangered black rhino born on Christmas EvePotter Park Zoo

A zoo in the US experienced a little Christmas miracle this year as they welcomed a new baby black rhino into the world. 

While every new life is special, the black rhino species are critically endangered as there are only 5,000 left in the wild and just over 50 in the care of accredited zoos worldwide, meaning every birth is particularly significant.


The new little rhino, who has not yet been named, is a boy who was born at Potter Park Zoo in Michigan on December 24 to mum Doppsee, the zoo’s 12-year old black rhino.

See the moment the baby was born here:


The baby is Doppsee’s first calf and the first black rhino born in the 100-year history of Potter Park Zoo.


According to animal care and veterinary staff at the zoo, the new arrival was keen to be up and about as he stood up for the first time about an hour and a half after birth. The baby appears to be nursing well and he’ll spend the first few months of his life behind the scenes of the zoo, where he will bond with his mum, the zoo’s blog explains.

Four days old ❤️Size: tiny (for now) Impact: HUGE This little is so important to the black rhino species. With only…

Posted by Potter Park Zoo on Friday, December 27, 2019

The zoo’s new member will venture out to be seen by the public sometime in Spring 2020, once the weather allows. Until then, staff at the zoo will keep animal lovers updated with pictures of the baby on social media.

Cynthia Wagner, Director of Potter Park Zoo, emphasised the importance of the birth, saying:


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.

Critically endangered black rhino born on Christmas EvePotter Park Zoo

As the new calf is Doppsee’s first, the animal care and veterinary staff will continue to monitor both mum and baby closely over the next next few weeks.

Potter Park Zoo veterinarian, Dr. Ronan Eustace, explained:


So far, the rhino calf appears healthy and we have observed frequent nursing shortly after the birth, which is encouraging.

The zoo explains black rhinos are being pushed to the brink of extinction by illegal poaching and loss of habitat. According to the WWF, populations declined dramatically in the 20th century, dropping by 98 per cent between 1960 and 1995.

The species has since made a comeback thanks to persistent conservation efforts, but a lot of work remains to bring the population up to even a fraction of what it once was.


Hopefully Potter Park Zoo’s new arrival will be one of many to come.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Animals, conservation, endangered animals, Michigan, zoo


Potter Park Zoo
  1. Potter Park Zoo

    Doppsee the Critically Endangered Black Rhino Gives Birth to First Rhino Calf Ever at Potter Park Zoo