How many of you are scratching your heads right now?!
We were, too, when we first heard this incredible story about a baby rhino arriving ten years after her father had died.
Born via artificial insemination on June 5 at the Buffalo Zoo in New York, Monica, a 144-pound female Indian rhino is a “major victory for endangered species around the world,” shares the zoo.
Approximately 59 Indian rhinos are in captivity across North America while only 2,500 remain in the wild.
“We are always thrilled to welcome a new baby to the Buffalo Zoo, but this birth is particularly exciting because the science involved is critical to saving endangered animals,” said Donna Fernandes, the president of the Buffalo Zoo.
She also credited staffers at the Cincinnati Zoo for their work to make this birth happen. Monica’s father, Jimmy, died there in 2004 where his sperm was then stored at -320 degrees in a cryogenic tank.
In 2013, the tank was transported to Buffalo, N.Y. where rhino keeper Joe Hauser and veterinarian Kurt Volle worked with Cincinnati’s reproductive physiologist Monica Stoops (the rhino is named after her) on a successful insemination process which led to a 15 to 16-month gestation period.
“Tashi (Monica’s mother) and the calf are doing well, and are spending this time bonding indoors,” Joe said in a statement.