Nikki gave birth early this morning to the world’s first live Indian rhino calf produced by artificial insemination (AI). She delivered a male calf at 6:06 a.m. in her indoor stall. Currently, the calf is in critical condition with Zoo staff working diligently to feed and stabilize him. Meanwhile, Nikki is doing well and will remain indoors.
Nikki has been monitored 24 hours a day since the first of October. Nikki became increasingly restless throughout Monday evening into the night. Cincinnati Zoo Volunteer Observers called Zoo staff in early Tuesday morning. Nikki delivered her calf while volunteer and staff watched anxiously via a live video feed. As soon as the calf was born, not moving or breathing, Zoo staff immediately jumped into action to assist and resuscitate the calf. The calf has been successfully breathing on its own since.
“The staff here at the Zoo is working tirelessly to do everything possible to support this calf,” said Dr. Monica Stoops, CREW Reproductive Physiologist and project leader at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. “We will continue to work to assist him during this critical period.”
Not only is this the world’s first successful live birth of an endangered Indian rhino conceived by artificial insemination (AI), but it is also the world’s first Indian rhino produced with frozen-thawed sperm.