Cincinnati rhino becomes father ten years after death

Rhino Monica with the CryoBioBank. provided photo
Rhino Monica with the CryoBioBank. provided photo

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden rhino became a father this month after a rhino calf produced by artificial insemination was born.

The Cincinnati Zoo along with the Buffalo Zoo announced the birth of a female Indian rhino calf Thursday that was produced by artificial insemination using a Cincinnati male rhino's sperm.

This is the first time an offspring has been born from a male who never became a father during his lifetime.

The father of the calf, a rhino named Jimmy, died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2004. Over the last ten years his sperm was stored at -320 degrees in the zoo's Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) CryoBioBank until it was taken to Buffalo to be thawed and used for artificial insemination.

"It is deeply heartening to know that the Cincinnati Zoo's beloved male Indian rhino Jimmy will live on through this calf and we are proud that CREW's CryoBioBank continues to contribute to this endangered species' survival," said Dr. Monica Stoops, Reproductive Physiologist at the Cincinnati Zoo's CREW.

The calf, named Monica, was born June 5.

The mother of the calf, Tashi, lives at the Buffalo Zoo and has previously given birth through natural breeding.

The Cincinnati Zoo says this science could be used to save thousands of species that are threatened with extinction.

Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved.