Rare black rhino born at Baton Rouge Zoo

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Zoo has announced the first rhino birth at the zoo.

Gemstone, a 21-year-old black rhino, gave birth to a female calf early Monday morning after a 16 1/2 month gestation period.

The unnamed calf is the only black rhino, an endangered species, born this year in North America and only the third in the last year worldwide.

According to Sam Winslow, assistant director and general curator, the mother and calf are doing well, but will remain off-exhibit while they bond.

Gemstone came from the San Francisco Zoo in 2006.  The zoo's male rhino, Tatu, came from Texas in 2006.

The Baton Rouge Zoo is a member of a network of zoos and aquariums that manges the breeding of a species in order to maintain a genetically diverse and self-sustaining population.

There are less than 4,000 black rhinos remaining in Africa.

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