LANSING (WXYZ) — Doppsee, the critically endangered black rhino, is pregnant, Potter Park Zoo announced in a blog post Tuesday.
There are only 5,000 black rhinos remaining in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and there are only about 60 rhinos at zoos across the United States.
The rhino team at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing spent many months last summer introducing Phineus and Doppsee with the hope that they would breed.
Creating an environment for two 2800 pound animals to mate is not easy. It required intricate planning and coordination to keep everyone safe, staff said.
After fecal samples were collected from the female rhinoceros for testing over a period of several months, zoo officials say they're confident she's pregnant based on her hormone levels and an ultrasound taken.
However, according to a release, the fetus won't be seen on the ultrasound for a few more months. But because of fluid in Doppsee's uterus, which was shown via rectal ultrasound, they are able to confirm that she is in fact pregnant.
To learn more about how Phineus and Doppsee were mated, and to follow Doppsee's pregnancy journey, visit the Potter Park Zoo blog here.