Hundreds of animals make their homes at Lincoln Park Zoo, but lately one has been on everyone’s minds. That’s baby rhino King, who continues to grow under the watch of mom Kapuki—and our animal care experts—at the Harris Family Foundation Black Rhinoceros Exhibit.
As the little one, born August 26, nears the two-month mark, he’s getting more playful by the day. To celebrate the upcoming milestone, I thought it would be fun to take you through an average day for King, including when you’re most likely to see him.
Growing fast, baby rhino King is now up to 250 pounds. Photo by Laszlo Szilagyi.
As Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout reports, King and mom Kapuki are generally still sleeping when the keepers arrive in the morning at 7 a.m. The rhinos have breakfast soon after waking; hay, grain and veggies for mom and mother’s milk for the baby. (King has started to play around with some of mom’s food as well, but he still gets nearly all his nutrients from nursing.)
After eating, the pair typically head out into their outdoor yard around 11 a.m. King runs a couple laps when he emerges. He also follows mom as she explores the outdoor browse and interacts with keepers in informal training sessions.
After a bit of play, King usually heads back inside for a midday nap lasting around two hours. When he wakes, he nurses again and then heads back outside to repeat the morning play, chasing a boomer ball or sniffing the ground around him. Ultimately, you’re most likely to see him from 11 a.m.–4 p.m., with that nap typically happening around 1 or 2 p.m.
King dashes through his outdoor exhibit at the Harris Family Founation Black Rhinoceros Exhibit. Photo by Laszlo Szilagyi.
Kapuki and King head inside for the evening around 4 p.m. They eat some more, play inside and hit the hay—literally—around 7 or 8 p.m. King seems to enjoy sprawling on a nice grass bedding that provides comfy support for his growing frame.
The pair wake up throughout the night to eat and nurse. Much like a human baby, King will start to nurse less frequently—but longer each time—as he grows. He’s already close to 250 pounds, a big jump from the 60 pounds he weighed at birth.
Mom Kapuki is giving him more freedom, but she still keeps close tabs on her calf. Photo by Laszlo Szilagyi.
That’s an average day in the life for the zoo’s baby rhino. I encourage you to come by this weekend to see King yourself. Every day offers something new for the zoo’s newest arrival, and it’s fun to watch him explore the world around him.
Baby Rhino Explores Outdoors
Watch King, the zoo’s newborn Eastern black rhinoceros calf, take his first steps outside with mom Kapuki at the Harris Family Foundation Black Rhinoceros Exhibit.
Wine & Wildlife: Rescuing Rhinos
Zoo scientists assist the recovery of eastern black rhinoceroses in South Africa’s Addo Elephant National Park. Enjoy a glass of wine October 23 while experts in discuss the zoo’s contributions to this critical effort.
A Rhino Tribute for Endangered Species Day
For Endangered Species Day, Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout reflects on the privilege of working with one of the zoo’s more endangered—and imposing—species: black rhinos.
South Africa Black Rhino Conservation
Endocrinologist Rachel Santymire, Ph.D., director of the Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology, takes us along as she collaborates on a project to conserve black rhinos in South Africa.
Make a Difference
Baby Rhino Wish List
Get a gift for the zoo's newest arrival! Wish list opportunities include boomer balls, baby chow and special materials to help "baby proof" the rhino's home.