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Day 480 of Pregnancy for Nikki

Nikki - Indian Rhino

Today is day 480 of Nikki’s pregnancy. Indian rhinos are pregnant for 462 – 491 days, so she could deliver her calf any day. Many visitors ask the same questions when they’re watching Nikki, so here are the answers to your FAQs…

Q: Why doesn’t she have water in her pool?
A: The water temperature is too cool for Nikki and would be too cool for the baby. She still has access to plenty of drinking water.

Q: Does she give birth lying down?
A: She’ll probably be lying down for the final push but goes up and down during labor.

Q: How long does labor last?
A: About 3 hours.

Q: How much will the calf weigh?
A: 80 – 100 pounds

Q: How much does Nikki weigh?
A: 4,299 pounds!!

Q: When will the calf start to nurse?
A: About 30 minutes – 2 hours after birth

If you have any other questions, please post them.

October 19, 2010   26 Comments

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.

October 16, 2010   9 Comments

Day 476 – Official Due Date is Tomorrow!

Nikki’s official due date is tomorrow! She is still enjoying time outside each day, when the weather is nice, but she’s coming in earlier so our Zoo Volunteer Observers (ZVOs) can start their watch at 3pm.  Nikki was used to staying out until 8 or so but seems to like coming in a few hours early and, therefore, getting to eat earlier.

October 12, 2010   11 Comments