The Imire Safari Ranch in Zimbabwe, is expecting a baby rhino from their oldest female black rhino, KamuChaCha. They have taken to milking her daily to try and identify when the baby is due, and also to make sure the milk contains all the nutrients the calf needs.
How do you know when a rhino is pregnant?
There are various ways to tell if a female rhino is pregnant. These include taking an ultrasound, monitoring the vaginal mucus, measuring hormones in rhino dung and then noting when the rhino starts to produce milk from her udder.
The Rhino & Elephant Sanctuary does not currently have the equipment to do most of these tests, but as a way of gauging when KamuChaCha might be due, staff are currently milking her regularly.
How long are rhinos pregnant for?
Black rhinos have a gestation period of 15 months, and usually become sexually active around the age of seven.
KamuChaCha mated with Imire’s oldest male black rhino in 2013, and will be the first calf that Imire has had since the last 3 rhino were tragically poached in 2007.
This pregnancy is an important step for Imire, which has had 14 rhino calves born on the game park, and 10 relocated back in to the wild since the 1990’s.
How do you know when a rhino is about to give birth?
Just before a rhino gives birth, her udder should drop lower, and the consistency of her milk should change and become thicker. This indicates that the baby should arrive any day within a five day window.
As you can imagine, they are all sitting with bated breath wondering when the much anticipated birth is going to occur !
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