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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

Rhino Team & Volunteers on Round-the-Clock Birth Watch

Nikki’s due date is rapidly approaching, so the Zoo’s Volunteer Observers (ZVOs) and the rhino team have started to monitor her 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Over 58 volunteers have given their time to help the rhino team keep an eye on Nikki.  The ZVO watch started on October 1 and will be conducted from 3pm – 7am every day.  ZVOs are stationed in our CREW facility where Nikki is monitored using a state-of-the-art camera system.  The ZVO watch is set to continue for 1 week following the birth of Nikki’s calf to record those important “Rhino Firsts”.

The Cincinnati Zoo Rhino team is very thankful to the ZVOs for all of their hard work and dedication!

October 6, 2010   6 Comments

Rhino Hormones

Beginning September 15,  zoo keepers started to decrease the daily dose of a hormone supplement Nikki has received throughout her pregnancy.  As a precaution, Dr. Stoops prescribed Nikki a progesterone supplement, called Regumate, when she verified Nikki’s pregnancy back in August 2009.  From day 18 of pregnancy until day 449, Nikki has been given a full rhino dose of progesterone supplement (34ml).  However, in preparation for Nikki’s impending birth, Dr. Stoops prescribed a daily dosage decline of 2ml  per day.

The hormone supplement is a liquid, so we dispense it into slices of bread and feed it to Nikki. She seems to enjoy it!  We make sure Nikki gets her daily dose of hormone prior to going out on exhibit each day.

By October 1, which will be day 465 of gestation, Nikki will no longer be receiving any hormone supplement.  We know from urinary hormone results conducted at our CREW facility that Nikki has been producing high levels of progesterone throughout her pregnancy.

Because the hormone assays CREW utilizes do not measure the form of progesterone that we have been feeding to Nikki, we know that in fact Nikki has been carrying this pregnancy all on her own.

Go Nikki!

September 20, 2010   2 Comments