Meet the newest addition to the Cincinnati Zoo: A baby rhino named Kendi

Meet the newest addition to the Cincinnati Zoo: A baby rhino named Kendi
(Source: Cincinnati Zoo)
(Source: Cincinnati Zoo)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden welcomed a new zoo baby Monday morning.

Eastern black rhino Seyia gave birth to a healthy calf named Kendi at 5:05 a.m. after about 30 minutes of labor, zoo officials said. Kendi means "the loved one" in Swahili.

Kendi is the first black rhino born at the Cincinnati Zoo since 1999.

Surveillance cameras inside the rhino barn recorded the birth and mom and baby's first moments.

Zoo officials say their care team is keeping their distance from Seyia and Kendi during this critical bonding period, so they have not yet been able to determine the calf's sex.

"Every rhino calf born is incredibly important for the population, which includes fewer than 60 in North America. Calves will stay with their mothers for 3-4 years which means that the average female can only have one calf every 5 years," said Christina Gorsuch, curator of mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Kendi is the fifth black rhino born in the last two years in North America, according to Gorsuch. Only one surviving calf was born in 2014/2015.

An black rhino adult can weigh anywhere between 1,760 and 3,080 pounds, and newborns (calves) weigh between 73 – 121 pounds.

The public will be able to see Kendi and Seyia in their outdoor habitat in a couple of weeks, weather and health depending.  Dad, Faru, will be out daily.

Black rhinos are solitary animals, so there are no plans to unite the three, according to the zoo.

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