published on January 20, 2017 - 11:11 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno Chaffee Zoo officials have announced the zoo’s pair of Southern white rhinoceros, Tim and Kayla, are expecting their first calf together.

Zookeepers and veterinary staff expect the calf to be born in approximately 30 days.

This will be the first rhino calf born at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

“We’re thrilled to be expecting the first rhino calf in our Zoo’s history,” Lyn Myer, general curator at Fresno Chaffee Zoo, said in a statement. “Tim and Kayla are both such charismatic animals and we can’t wait to share this new addition with our guests so they can learn more about this species.”

While this is Tim and Kayla’s first calf, it is Kayla’s third pregnancy. Veterinary staff members have been unable to obtain an ultrasound confirming the pregnancy, but Fresno Chaffee Zoo curator Vernon Presley said Kayla’s recent physical and behavioral changes are signs she is expecting.

“Since we do not have a hormonal profile on Kayla, and the abdominal wall of a rhino is too thick for an abdominal ultrasound, the only way to confirm her pregnancy is through a trans-rectal ultrasound,” Presley said in a statement. “That’s not something that Kayla is accepting at this time. So, although we haven’t been able to confirm it, all of Kayla’s physical indications and behavioral changes point to pregnancy.”

Kayla will be visible on exhibit intermittently over the next few weeks as she prepares for birth.

Both Tim and Kayla moved to Fresno in 2015 for the grand opening of African Adventure. Kayla was born in 2005 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, while Tim was born in 1996 at San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium. Tim came to Fresno from Busch Gardens Tamp Bay.

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