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Eating for Two

hay for nikki

Carrying Hay for Nikki

Commissary keeper Michael Berry came by this morning and dropped off produce and hay to rhino keeper Renee Carpenter for Nikki.  The Zoo’s commissary delivers fresh produce to the rhino barn every day and hay is supplied twice a week.  Because rhinos eat a lot of hay, today we unloaded a lot of it!

Nikki eats bamboo leaves

Nikki eats bamboo leaves

Nikki has an important job to do, not only is she pregnant for 16 months, but she will give birth to a 100-lb baby!  Our Curator of Nutrition, Barbara Henry, specially designed a balanced diet to make sure Nikki gets all the nutrients she needs during her pregnancy.  Indian rhino are herbivores or vegetarians.  In the wild, Indian rhinos eat grass, fruit, leaves, branches and aquatic plants.  They use their prehensile lip to curl around branches and bring them into their mouth.  Nikki’s daily diet consists of ¾ of a bale of timothy grass hay (34lbs), 10 lbs of specially formulated nutritionally complete herbivore pellets, 6 apples, 6 bananas and 6 carrots.  Nikki is also given special treats during training or medical procedures, like ultrasound exams.  These treats include horse apple oat biscuits, alfalfa hay and Nikki’s absolute favorite…..PEANUT BUTTER.

September 10, 2010   49 Comments

Baby rhino will be one for record book

Excerpt from article posted on Cincinnati.com on 8/30/2010

By John Johnston

The mother-to-be, who has gained 60 pounds since June, opens her massive mouth and begs for a snack.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden keepers oblige with apple-oat biscuits, and the 4,120-pound Indian rhinoceros named Nikki happily chomps away during her monthly ultrasound procedure.

“I can see the placenta,” says zoo scientist Monica Stoops, holding a probe to the rhino’s underbelly while watching grainy black-and-white images on a monitor. “And I see lots of dark fluid, which is what’s surrounding the baby. And I see parts of the baby.

“Everything looks great.”

Read the full article

August 31, 2010   No Comments