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Nikki Relaxin?

It was a beautiful Fall day in Cincinnati and Nikki was out walking around her exhibit and eating some of the fallen leaves.  Just like in pregnant humans, Nikki has been walking to help promote a fast and easier labor.  Her ability to exercise is more important than ever, now that it appears that she is feeling the effects of Relaxin hormone.  Relaxin is a hormone that Nikki (and other pregnant animals) produce prior to birth that helps “relax” the pelvis in preparation for the big event.  Each day, Nikki’s keepers and scientists observe how she looks and the effects of Relaxin have recently been noted.  In addition, the ZVO’s have recorded that Nikki is drinking more water, another effect of Relaxin.

A mother and baby watch Nikki. Soon Nikki will have her own bundle of joy!

Knowing that Nikki is getting closer to birth, it is more important than ever that she can continue to do some exercise outside.  When Nikki walks, her hips sway side to side and that helps position the calf correctly.  Because she is due to give birth any day, her keepers watch over her when she is on exhibit.  We Can’t Wait!

Head Keeper Randy Pairan keeps a close eye on Nikki while Zoo Visitors stop by to see her.


1 Kate Dexter { 10.17.10 at 5:31 am }

Nikki is getting big! I’m sure she is ready for this calf too! It’s going to be so exciting seeing her out with the calf for the first time.

2 K. Anderson { 10.18.10 at 11:57 pm }

Wondering if there is any concern as Nikki passes her due date, such as placenta insufficiency as there might be in human babies ?

3 Michelle Curley { 10.19.10 at 9:21 pm }

I asked Dr. Stoops your question about concerns of passing Nikki’s due date, and here’s her answer:

Nikki’s due date was based on the average gestation length for Indian rhinos. However, gestation length for Indians rhinos range from 460-503 days. The longer the gestation (like Indian rhinos at 16 months) the larger the variation there can be in gestation lengths (hence the 43 day range). Therefore, we do not have any concern. Nikki is progressing just as she should and will deliver when is right for her and her calf. It is hard to wait though! However, it will be well worth it:)

4 Tansy { 10.21.10 at 1:38 pm }

Looking forward to seeing the new calf will be nice to see after all this waiting

5 Nikki Johnson { 10.22.10 at 10:18 pm }

My family and I ventured from out of state to visit The Zoo of Zoo’s! We loved it, I can’t stop thinking about everything I’ve learned. And I’m a 38 yr old animal encyclopedia. Or so I thought I was anyway. Because I have a deep love of animals and planet earth my children have been exposed to the importance of conservation and animal compassion since thier first day out of the womb. We always make a point to read species bio’s. My children are older now but when they were pre-school age, they could mostly relate to the animals similarities to humans. Thats what made it close to the heart to them. They loved finding out about the animals individually. Such as each animals name,thier age, if they were born in Cin. Zoo or if they came from another zoo. Or wich animals are related to one another? There really wasn’t any personal info on hardly any of the animals. As an animal lover myself- I was left searching and scratching my head. I myself wondered if perhaps any of these animals had been artificially insemenated? Are they hard to breed in captivity? Please don’t get me wrong! I LOVED your zoo. It’s one of the best that I’ve ever been to. I think it’s so important to foster a love & compassion for all of God’s creatures- I truly believe in my heart that children need that compassion young as possible. The manatee exhibit had past history on CC & Turner. So I am humbly suggesting that more personal info be added on each of the animals to help foster that love by being more relatable to the younger children and pre-schoolers.

6 Ann { 10.23.10 at 8:38 pm }

My Dawg friends in England, pointed out this site. I hope your Nikki is safely delivered soon, waiting to see the babe x

7 Sharon { 10.23.10 at 11:44 pm }

I take my grandkids to Cin Zoo several times a year. We had hoped to see Niki last Sunday but alas she was not visible. Can’t wait to see her baby, and pray all goes well this time!! My grandsons love the zoo!!!

8 dundee_she { 10.27.10 at 1:46 am }

c,mon baby rhino you can do it be strong for mummy shes been waiting on you for along time …c,mon get better soon xxxxxx awwww

9 are ecigs safe { 10.07.13 at 6:12 pm }

lacking both proteins and amino acids after

a workout, so the yogurt and granola will help to restore this.protein shake: this is a highly debated topic as there are some skeptical views on how to properly take protein shakes. here’s the dirt: after a workout, your body is

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