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article imageRare Black Rhino Gives Birth Live Online

By geozone     Mar 7, 2007 in World
After a 15-month pregnancy, Sita, a black rhino at the Paignton Zoo in the UK, gave birth to a calf in the full glare of the internet spotlight.
It was the first time such an event had been broadcast live on the net. Zoo staff and a film crew from the BBC were present to record every move with a webcam and thousands from around the world watched online.
In the hours leading up to the birth, Sita paced restlessly within the confines of her den, a sure sign of impending birth. Half an hour after going into labor, the calf emerged.
"We're really pleased we've had a successful birth," said an official with the zoo."Everything seems to have gone smoothly. Sita was a little bewildered by the new arrival."
The calf is said to be a gorgeous and special because it is a girl. Seventy-five percent of the black rhinos born in captivity are male.
The calf took five hours before she could get up on her feet. An hour after that she took her first feeding from mom Sita.
"Sita was exhausted after her labours and we were relieved when she allowed the calf to suckle for the first time."
Between 1970 and the mid 1990s, the population of black rhinos dropped drastically by more than 90%. In the 1990s, it reached its lowest number of about 2,400. Black rhinos are now on the critically endangered species list.
As for 16-year-old Sita, she has now become a true net celebrity who has raised awareness for the conservation of her species.
Mother and calf are said to be doing fine.
You can view film of the birth of the calf at the link above. It is quite amazing to watch Sita pacing around her den with a pair of calf legs emerging and dangling from her rear end. It's part 2 of the footage you want to see. You don't get to see all of the calf emerge because the BBC is using the complete birth footage in a program they are producing.
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