Oregon Zoo’s baby rhino turns one month old


The newest member of the Oregon Zoo’s rhinoceros family crossed a milestone this week, turning one month old on Thursday, Jan. 4.

The yet-to-be-named calf, born to parents Jozi and King on Dec. 4, is up to 172 pounds from its birthweight of 100 pounds and has begun to explore the behind-the-scenes rhino maternity den, according to a release from the zoo.

“Both Jozi and her calf are doing great,” Chad Harmon, who supervises the zoo’s rhino area, said in the release. “Their bond is strong, and we’re seeing the calf explore the barn more and more.”

Staff at the zoo is closely monitoring the calf and its progress from a distance as the family continues to bond. The veterinary staff has not yet determined the sex of the new baby.

“When the calf is ready for that first veterinary exam, we’ll find out whether it’s a boy or a girl,” Harmon said. “For now, Jozi is doing such a great job that we haven’t needed to intervene. She’s a terrific mom.”

Guests of the zoo will have to wait a little longer to get a look at the calf, as Jozy and her baby remain out of view until the new addition gets a little bigger and the weather gets a little warmer.

Jozi and the baby’s father, King, are part of the critically endangered eastern subspecies of black rhinoceros, making the new baby a significant event not just for the Oregon Zoo but for the entire species.

“Poaching and the illegal wildlife trade have wiped out 96% of the world’s black rhino population,” said Kelly Gomez, who oversees the zoo’s Africa area, in the press release. “In South Africa alone, we’re losing almost a rhino a day. Hopefully, their story can help inspire a new chapter in the conservation of this incredible species.”