Like most pregnant women in late summer, Nikki can be found lounging in her private pool daily as her pregnancy comes to an end. At 4,100 pounds, you can easily imagine the weight water’s buoyancy takes off Nikki’s aching bones.
Indian rhinos are the most aquatic of the five rhino species, so Nikki would normally enjoy dips in her 40-inch-deep pool. The water is more appealing than usual when she’s carrying a 100+ pound rhino calf! And, with temperatures outside reaching record highs in Cincinnati, and the pool set to a cool 55-60 degrees, Nikki finds herself spending more and more time in the soft waters of her hideaway.
Beginning October 1, Nikki will no longer have access to her pool, due to her approaching due date, but for now you can stop by the Zoo and see Nikki daily, lounging by the pool and counting down the days to her due date.
What was your favorite way to stay comfortable during pregnancy?
September 9, 2010 2 Comments
Nikki gets a bath every morning to keep her fresh & clean. During this time, keepers are usually able to collect her urine sample.
Collecting urine is important to keep track of the health of the pregnancy. The samples help us monitor hormone levels without having to draw blood. Rhino’s are big wimps when it comes to little needles, so non-invasive testing is always the better option for them.
Good news again today from Dr. Stoops – this morning’s test indicates that Nikki is still producing high levels of progesterone, and that comes from the placenta & the baby. Everything looks great! Early in the pregnancy, we did hormone testing every week. Now it’s about twice a month.
September 3, 2010 No Comments
While we don’t provide the daily husbandry and care for the father of Nikki’s calf on Cincinnati Zoo grounds, because he lives at the Bronx Zoo, we do care for his contribution (frozen sperm). Here is a picture of the Indian rhino sperm bank after one of our CREW team members tops it off with liquid nitrogen.
The “bank” is shorthand for a set of insulated tanks (eg. high quality thermoses). We top off all the tanks in CREW’s CryoBioBank every Friday to ensure they are maintained at minus 320°F. While we don’t have male Indian rhinos at the Cincinnati Zoo, we have the genetic potential (sperm) of the most valuable males cryopreseved for use in artificial insemination procedures. You can imagine just how hard it would be to ship a male Indian rhino around, especially one that lives in another state or another country.
August 30, 2010 No Comments