Rare rhino born in a Czech zoo named after the capital of Ukraine

The critically endangered newborn eastern black rhinoceros named kyiv walks around in its enclosure at Dvur Kralove Zoo, Czech Republic, Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Photo: AP

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The critically endangered newborn eastern black rhinoceros named kyiv walks around in its enclosure at Dvur Kralove Zoo, Czech Republic, Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Photo: AP

A Czech zoo has taken in a critically endangered baby eastern black rhino who has taken the name of Ukraine’s capital, kyiv, in honor of that country’s resistance to invading forces Russians.

The rhino was born early on March 4 at Dvur Kralove Zoo, a rare event for the facility even though it has the most rhinos belonging to the subspecies.

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“This name is another expression of our support for Ukrainian heroes,” zoo director Premysl Rabas said.

kyiv’s mother, Eva, took care of him in the best possible way, the zoo said, with the baby gaining 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) a day. He currently weighs around 50 kilograms (110 pounds).

Poaching has reduced the number of eastern black rhinos living in the wild to around 800. The Czech park has 14.

Kyiv stands in his enclosure next to his mother Eva at Dvur Kralove zoo in the Czech Republic, Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Photo: AP

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Kyiv stands in his enclosure next to his mother Eva at Dvur Kralove zoo in the Czech Republic, Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Photo: AP

Only three other such rhinos have been born in other zoos around the world in the past year.

A total of 47 eastern black rhinos have been born in Dvur Kralove since the park received the first in 1971.

Many of them are now in various zoos around the world, but nine have been returned to Rwanda and Tanzania to live in the wild.

Christi C. Elwood