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Alabama Zoo Welcomes Baby Rhino Ethan

25/06/2013 13:32 BST | Updated 25/06/2013 15:34 BST

Zookeepers in Alabama are proud to announce the birth of Ethan, the first rhino to be born in the USA via artificial insemination.

Ethan, who was born on the 5th of June in Montgomery Zoo, is one of only 2,500 or so Indian rhinos still alive over the world.

alabama rhino

Ethan is just weeks old

His name is taken after a 5-year-old boy who was taken hostage in a bunker in January.

His mother, a 12-year-old named Jeta, was artificially inseminated following difficulties in breeding her with the zoo's male rhino, Himal.

alabama rhino

His mother, Jeta, is the zoo's 12-year-old female rhino resident

Himal's sperm was taken in 2004 and stored at -320 degrees fahrenheit at the Cryobiobank in Cincinnati for eight years.

It was then used to inseminate Jeta, who bore her baby for 15 months before giving birth to a healthy calf nearly three weeks ago.

This process, which is becoming increasingly popular in dealing with falling animal populations, was developed by Dr. Monica Stoops of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife.

Ethan will now be kept under close inspection by the zookeepers in Alabama, who will ensure he develops properly and healthily.

In the meantime, Ethan himself can only concentrate on one thing - staying safe and close to his doting mother.

alabama rhino

He won't be straying far just yet