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News Release

For Immediate Release
White rhino born at the Fort Worth Zoo
Zoo celebrates first-ever white rhino birth
After an approximate 16 month gestation period, Edith, the Fort Worth Zoo's 33-year-old white rhino, gave birth to a male calf early in the morning on October 12. Named "Bakari," which means "one with great promise" in Swahili, the 135-pound calf is the first white rhino born at the Fort Worth Zoo and represents a valuable addition to the threatened species.

"Both mother and baby are in great condition at this time, and Edith is already responding as an excellent mother," said Fort Worth Zoo Assistant Mammal Curator Kurt Giesler. "Rhinos are known for being good and protective parents, and Edith is no exception. She is acting very gentle and attentive towards her calf."

When Edith arrived at the Fort Worth Zoo in April 2003, she was already about nine months into her gestation. Edith and her 24-year-old offspring, Gloria, were transferred to the Fort Worth Zoo as part of the White Rhino Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program which maintains healthy, self-sustaining captive populations that are genetically diverse and demographically stable.

"Births like this are based on recommendations by the SSP, which benefit threatened or endangered species," said Michael Fouraker, director of the Fort Worth Zoo and White Rhino SSP coordinator. "Bakari represents an important addition to the captive white rhino population. He has valuable genetics that will be necessary to help sustain the captive population."

Edith and Bakari will be on exhibit beginning Wednesday, October 15, 2003.

The Fort Worth Zoo is one of only four institutions worldwide to hold three of the four rhino species that are maintained in captivity (black, white and greater one-horned rhinos) and is a founding member of the International Rhino Foundation.

For Further Information Contact:
Lyndsay Nantz
Communications Director

Tracy Sturrock
Communications Manager