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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

What a “Cool” Rhino Baby

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

Nikki’s Having a Baby!

Indian rhinos are pregnant for 16 months or 462-491 days.  Today, Nikki is at day 428 of gestation.  Less than 50 days to go!  I’m Dr.  Monica Stoops, the scientist at CREW who worked with our rhino keepers and Nikki to help her become an expectant rhino mom.

Just like human females, sometimes our zoo animals need help to have a baby and CREW scientists are world leaders in helping endangered species reproduce.  Nikki has progressed wonderfully throughout her pregnancy and it has been exciting to see the growth (via ultrasound) of this very special rhino baby.   Based on an ultrasound exam conducted on day 72 of gestation, we were able to determine if Nikki ‘s calf was a boy or a girl.

Nikki's Ultrasound - Day 90

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Boy or Girl, it is the cutest Indian rhino baby we have ever seen!

August 26, 2010   1 Comment