Celebrating Amani

The northern white rhino is the most endangered animal in the world. There are only 2 left on the planet and neither is able to breed, so we're working with partners around the globe to save them from extinction, using groundbreaking science, brand new technology, and decades of world-class animal care expertise.

Playing a key role in our rescue program, Amani is the second rhino in San Diego Zoo Global's 103-year history to become pregnant through artificial insemination. She follows in the footsteps of her fellow rescue rhino, Victoria. While Amani, Victoria, and their babies are southern white rhinos, these successes prove that the science is working—and that hope for the northern white rhino is at our fingertips.

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Amani, a southern white rhino, walks through her yard at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Amani means "peace" in Swahili. Before her name was decided upon, Amani was affectionately called "Big Girl" because of her naturally large size. She's even larger than Maoto, the Rhino Rescue Center’s resident male rhino.

11/8-
12/8

The anticipated delivery window for Amani's calf.

November 12, 2019

Updates from Amani's Keepers:

Last July, we were thrilled to welcome Edward, the first rhino ever born at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center. Since then, we’ve been watching and marveling at his development under the loving eye of his awesome mom, Victoria. And now we’re about to experience that heart-swelling joy all over again—another little rhino is expected any day now!

Amani is still doing very well, and we’re officially within her delivery window. We’re continuing once-a-week abdominal ultrasounds, and we can occasionally see the baby kick from outside her abdomen!

Get more of the keepers' perspective, with the Rhino Keeper Diaries.

Learn more about the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center, located at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

 

 

Amani, a southern white rhino, and ultrasounds of her developing baby

We're conducting once-a-week ultrasounds to monitor Amani's calf. We can no longer identify any specific body parts on the calf, because it has gotten so large!

480–540

Number of days in a rhino pregnancy.

November 2, 2019

Updates from Amani's Keepers:

Amani is quickly approaching her due date. We’ve seen some physical changes this week and we're monitoring her closely. She's starting to slow down a bit, which is normal and expected. She's spending the nights in the maternity area of the barn with another rhino, Wallis, who is her pregnancy buddy.

We were very fortunate to have such a smooth, textbook delivery when Victoria gave birth to Edward, but we are still prepared for any scenario with Amani.

 

 

Amani, a southern white rhino

Amani is friendly, curious, and loves attention from keepers and team members. She also loves all kinds of treats. Her favorite foods are orchard hay, produce, and special rhino pellets, which are made of compressed hay and fortified with vitamins and other nutrients.

594

Number of pounds Amani has gained since becoming pregnant.

September 28, 2019

Updates from Amani's Keepers:

Amani is doing very well. She’s about 5-6 weeks away from her due date, which coincides with the 4-year anniversary of the rhinos’ arrival from South Africa! It's amazing to think about what this collaborative effort has accomplished in just 4 years.

She’s still enjoying all of her favorite foods, including orchard hay, produce, and pellets. She’s attentive and eager during weekly abdominal ultrasounds. We can see the fetus, but can’t identify any specific body parts because the calf is so large, now!

August 22, 2019

Updates from Amani's Keepers:

Amani just passed day 400 of her approximately 480-day pregnancy! She weighs 4,994 pounds.

Her calf is very active during weekly abdominal ultrasounds. Amani's side twitches as the calf moves around. It's hard to identify any of the baby's body parts for the moment, because of the way it's positioned.

Amani's behavior hasn't changed; she's still very cooperative during ultrasounds and health checks. She's enduring the hottest months of the year in this last trimester, so we're making sure she has lots of muddy wallows to relax in.

We're repeating the same preparations we made before Victoria's labor and delivery.

 

 

Amani the southern white rhino

Amani, a southern white rhino who lives at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center, located at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, is making history.

4,400

Amani's weight, in pounds, before her pregnancy.

June 10, 2019

Amani’s baby is expected in November or December of 2019. Her caretakers report that she's slowing down a little and taking it easy. This is normal and expected. She's appreciating extra attention and snacks.

February 6, 2019

Amani has reached day 205 of her pregnancy, almost the middle of her second trimester. Her baby’s feet are nearly 5 cm wide now—about the same as a large paperclip.

 

 

Amani's baby in ultrasound

Amani's baby in ultrasound, February 2019.

4

Rhino calves depend on their mothers for up to 4 years.

September 18, 2018

Amani is only about 10 weeks along, and rhino pregnancies last 16-18 months. It’s early in her pregnancy, and the road ahead is long, but we’re so excited to share this wonderful news. Donors like you make the work at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center possible.

 

 

An ultrasound image of Amani's baby

Amani's baby in ultrasound, September 2018.

1

Number of rhino babies at a time. Twins are rare.

Rhinos crossing the grassy hill at the Safari Park