PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Ivory-one is getting excited about a few big babies coming soon to the Oregon Zoo.
On Tuesday morning, the Oregon Zoo announced that rhinoceros Jozi and elephant Rose-tu are both pregnant and staff are eagerly awaiting the babies’ arrival.
Jozi and her companion King represent the eastern subspecies of black rhinoceros which is considered to be critically endangered, so the new baby is a big deal.
According to Kelly Gomez, who oversees the Africa area, the baby is expected sometime between now and early January.
“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.”
At Elephant Lands, 29-year-old Rose-Tu is pregnant for the third time.
She and 25-year-old Samson have been spending time together and the zoo said they believe conception occurred in late May.
They expect Rose will give birth in early 2025.
Although the news is exciting, Steve Lefave who oversees the elephant area, is cautioning that this is still early in the pregnancy and that healthy births are never a sure thing.
“We’re hoping for the best,” Lefave said. “We have an excellent animal-care team, and they’ll be doing everything they can to help each of these moms have a successful birth.”