Disney's Animal Care Team Caring for Three Pregnant White Rhinoceros

Today, the Walt Disney World Resort confirmed that three pregnant white rhinoceros are currently being cared for at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. It’s the first time the park has had this many horns and hooves on the horizon:
  • Kendi (the first rhino born at the park in 1999) is the first due, with a calf expected to be born this October.
  • Jao is expected to give birth sometime in fall 2021.
  • Lola is due in fall/winter 2021.
Dr. Natalie Mylniczenko, one of the park's veterinarians, has worked closely with the rhino keeper team to keep a close eye on how the pregnancies are progressing. She may be one of the only people in the world that has seen a rhino at 2 centimeters.


Planning for a rhino birth requires time and patience for all involved. Rhinos have a long gestation period, approximately 16-18 months, so each of these births are roughly 1 ½ years in the making. Add to that the time that goes into research to pave the way. All three rhinos were chosen to breed through Species Survival Plans (SSPs), which are overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to ensure the responsible breeding of endangered species. Dugan, the herd’s bull, is the father of all three calves.


The park's animal care team is eager and ready to help welcome these rhino calves upon their arrivals. Once born, they acclimate quickly – rhino calves weigh between 88-140 lbs. at birth and can stand up within the first hour. They stay very close to their mothers for the first three years of their life.
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