Endangered Indian rhinoceros baby is born in zoo in Poland

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) – An endangered Indian rhino was born last week at Wroclaw Zoo in Poland, a hopeful development in efforts to conserve rare animals.

Born Jan. 6, the female baby is the first Indian rhino birth in the zoo’s 155-year history, the zoo said on Wednesday. Her parents are Maruska, seven, and an 11-year-old man, Manas.

“Maruska, a first-time mother, is behaving wonderfully,” zoo president Radoslaw Ratajszczak said.

“She takes care of her daughter, allows her to breastfeed and is very delicate, despite weighing more than 2 tons. For example, when she goes to bed, she is very careful not to crush the little one and even to gently push him aside. Says Ratajszczak.

So far, the new baby is being cared for away from the public.

The Indian rhino was close to extinction, but thanks to a protection program started in the 1970s, there are now some 3,600, including more than 170 in 66 zoos around the world.

The Indian rhino can stand 3.8 meters (12 feet, 5 inches) tall and weigh up to 3 tons. They live in the humid and grassy areas of northern India. They feed mainly on grass, leaves and twigs but also on fruits and aquatic vegetation.

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