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Lounging Poolside During the Homestretch of Pregnancy

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.

relaxing in water

relaxing in water

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

Urine Collection and Analysis

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.

Nikki's hormone levels are where they should be.

September 3, 2010   No Comments

Meet the Daddy!

I just received an email today from our friends at the Bronx Zoo in New York.  They sent me a photo of the “Daddy” of Nikki’s calf that they took for us this past Monday.  Nikki never met the father of her baby, although we assured her he was quite handsome.

We consulted with the Species Survival Plan® coordinator for Indian rhinos to determine which male was the best genetic match for Nikki and her offspring.  Vinu was the lucky bachelor.  We collected sperm from Vinu back in 2005 and stored it in CREW’s CryoBioBank until June 2009, when it was thawed and used to successfully inseminate our Nikki.

From the photo, it looks like bananas are one of Vinu’s favorite foods.  Nikki loves to eat bananas too.  A perfect match!


September 1, 2010   1 Comment