With black rhino population declining, it was a beautiful thing to hear that Dopsee, the critically endangered black rhino at the Potter Park Zoo, is expecting to deliver a calf in December.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, there are only 5,000 black rhinos remaining in the wild with only about 60 located at zoos throughout the U.S.
The team at Potter Park Zoo spent months introducing Dopsee and Phineus in hopes that the two rhinos would breed. Needless to say, it was no easy task to get the 2.800-pound animals to breed; it was a process that took intricate planning and coordination to keep everyone safe.
After monitoring Dopsee’s estrus cycle, watching behaviors, fecal hormone testing and time spent together in the same space, Potter Park Zoo was able to confirm that Dopsee is pregnant.
Doppsee and Phineus bred on May 11, June 4, and again on Aug. 25, 2018. Due to weather and other constraints, Potter Park Zoo was unable to introduce the rhinos again in the fall. However, it turned out to be unnecessary.
According to PotterParkZoo.org, the zoo is committed to black rhino conservation and scientific advancement. It has been involved in several projects spearheaded by Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife, Cincinnati Zoo, including hormone response to olfactory stimulation and ongoing fecal hormone testing.
A successful pregnancy would mean the world to Potter Park Zoo, its employees and all who visit, but it would mean even more to the black rhino population as a whole. Potter Park Zoo will keep everyone updated through regular posts on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blog as we continue to learn more about this incredible pregnancy.