TODAY | June 22, 2013
>>> a breakthrough in the movement to keep rhinos from extinction. we had the first indian rhinoceros born through artificial insemination . it weighs over 100 pounds and is getting used to his new home at the zoo.
>> it's nice to have you with us. glad to hear mom and baby are doing well.
>> they are doing fantastic, thanks for the congratulations.
>> what makes this such a big deal ? this is pretty important, especially as we look at the future of the species.
>> exactly. so, when we look at this little guy, he represents the first calf of any rhino species to be born in a u.s. zoo as a result of the reproductive technology . he's the only indian rhino calf that is thriving from the technology of assisted reproduction using artificial insemination .
>> you have a male rhinoceros there. why not let nature take its course? why was it necessary to do artificial insemination .
>> as some human couples require the help of doctors to conceive a baby, the mom and dad require rhino specialists to produce a calf. in 2004 , his sperm was collected and we stored it at a rhino sperm bank . at minus 320 degrees. in 2012 , when the breeding recommendation came for them, that sperm was brought back to alabama, thawed and used for the ai procedure.
>> best of luck to the family and the little guy. he's getting a name today, is that true?
>> yes. the montgomery zoo chose the name ethan. he visited the zoo three days after he was rescued from a bunker here in alabama. because this little guy, our calf, is such a special little we wanted to name him after a special little boy that had a connection with the animal.
>> he will grow a horn at some point, right?
>> yes, he will. he won't grow it until after he's born, otherwise, it would be a little uncomfortable.