Endangered rhino born in Czech zoo, named Kyiv March 16, 2022

A newly born critically endangered eastern black rhino stands in its enclosure next to its mother Eva at the zoo in Dvur Kralove, Czech Republic, Wednesday, March 16, 2022. The male rhino calf was born on March 4, 2022 and was named Kyiv. According to the zoo’s director Premysl Rabas the name was chosen as a sign of support to the Ukrainian heroes fighting the war. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

PRAGUE (AP) — A Czech zoo has welcomed a critically endangered eastern black rhinoceros baby that has taken the name of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv in honor of that country’s resistance to invading Russian forces.

The rhino was born early on March 4 in the Dvur Kralove zoo, a rare occurrence for the facility even if it has the most rhinos belonging to the subspecies.

“The name is another expression of our support for the Ukrainian heroes,“ zoo Director Premysl Rabas said.

Kyiv’s mother Eva has been taking care of him in a best possible way, the zoo said, with the baby gaining 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) a day. It currently weighs about 50 kilograms (110 pounds) .

Poaching has reduced the number of the eastern black rhinos living in the wild to around 800. The Czech park has 14.

Only three other such rhinos have been born in other zoos around the world in the last year.

A total of 47 eastern black rhinos have been born in Dvur Kralove since the park received the first one in 1971.

Many of them are now in various zoos around the globe but nine have been returned to Rwanda and Tanzania to live in the wild.

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