News 4 gets close-up view of zoo’s baby Indian Rhino

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – News 4 got a close-up look at the Buffalo Zoo’s two-week old baby Indian Rhino on Wednesday.

Monica was born to mother Tashi on June 5th, weighing in at 144 pounds. She is the first Indian Rhino to be born from artificial insemination.

monica and mom tashi indian rhinosLead rhino keeper Joe Hauser said, “She came out a ball of fury, she started kicking right away.”

So far, mom and baby are keeping very busy.

“It starts off with bath time, mom’s got to eat, she get’s a little cranky if she doesn’t eat. So first thing in the morning she gets her hay and her grain. Then it’s bath time, they love playing in the water, Indian Rhino’s are very aquatic rhinos, so they love playing in the water. And then it’s eat some more,” said Hauser.

This not-so-little girl will never meet her father, though. Her dad, an Indian Rhino named Jimmy, died 10 years ago.

Hauser explained, “He actually never bred while living and his cells were preserved at -320 in Cryo preservation bank and nine years later we thawed out his cells and did the insemination and we got a baby rhino.”

Zookeepers say this process is crucial to continuing the species, which has been heavily targeted by poachers. There are only 59 Indian Rhinos in North America and all five species of rhino are endangered.

“If we don’t do something now we won’t have rhinos left, it could be 10 years, it could be 20 years,” said Hauser.

The new addition isn’t on display to the public just yet. Zookeepers say Monica should make her debut in the next few weeks.

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