Two of the largest and most endangered land mammals on the planet are creating some great expectations at the Oregon Zoo. Eastern black rhinoceros Jozi and Asian elephant Rose-Tu are both pregnant, according to zoo endocrinology experts, and care staff are eagerly anticipating the arrival of not one but two extra-large additions to the zoo family.
Jozi’s baby, expected to arrive sometime between now and early January, holds much significance for the species, according to Kelly Gomez, who oversees the zoo’s Africa area. Jozi and her companion, King, belong to the eastern subspecies of black rhinoceros, which is considered critically endangered.
“These two rhinos — soon to be three, we hope — represent a species that’s among the most endangered on the planet,” Gomez said. “Poaching and the illegal wildlife trade have wiped out 96% of the world’s black rhino population. 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.”
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