The Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic celebrated the rare event of the birth of a critically endangered eastern black rhinoceros earlier this month. This special occasion was given even more meaning when the zoo decided to name the rhino calf “Kyiv,” which is the name of the capital city of Ukraine, in honor of the country’s resistance to invading Russian forces.
Unfortunately, poaching has diminished the wild eastern black rhino populations to approximately 800. Even though the Dvur Kralove zoo is home to 14 of these endangered rhinos, a rhinoceros birth is an uncommon event. In fact, the Czech park has only had a total of 47 eastern black rhino births since 1971, and a mere three other eastern black rhinos have been born in zoos around the world in the past year.
“The name is another expression of our support for the Ukrainian heroes,” stated zoo director Premysl Rabas.
Kyiv’s mother, a rhino called Eva, has been taking care of her baby very well, with the calf gaining around one kilogram per day. It now ways around 50 kilograms (110 pounds).