Dear Friend of Potter Park Zoo,
Did you know Potter Park Zoo is the only zoo in Michigan with black rhinos? The ability to share these amazing animals helps meet the zoo’s mission of “inspiring conservation of animals and the natural world” and propels our community to the forefront as a leader in conservation of this species. Your past support is greatly appreciated, and we are hopeful you will consider a gift to help the zoo continue this essential work.
We have great news! Our animal care team is excited about the upcoming birth of a baby black rhino right here at Potter Park Zoo! Only 60 black rhinos exist in zoos in the United States and an average of two offspring are born in zoos each year.
Countless children and adults have had the chance to meet Doppsee. These once in a lifetime moments of looking her in the eyes and being able to touch her have inspired and educated thousands of individuals. These connections spark the desire to protect and save black rhinos and other endangered species.
It is your support that allows future generations to be a part of connections like these. For that we are extremely grateful. Your gift will help the zoo excel in our efforts in animal welfare, conservation and education. Please continue to support the zoo and the animals entrusted to us by making a donation online at www.potterparkzoo.org/donate.
Thank you for your support and we hope to see you at the zoo!
Amy L. Morris-Hall
Executive Director Potter Park Zoological Society
More About Doppsee the Black Rhino:
During the summer of 2018, Potter Park Zoo started introducing Doppsee, the zoo’s female black rhino to Phineus, the zoo’s male black rhino. Phinues traveled all the way from Texas to breed with Doppsee after a recommendation from the Species Survival Plan through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The two were together many times before successful mating was observed under the watchful eyes of zoo staff Aug. 25, 2018.
The zoo team has been cautiously optimistic that a healthy pregnancy would ensue over the next 15-16 month gestation period. Zoo staff have been preparing for Doppsee’s first pregnancy for years. The behaviors she has been trained over the years through positive reinforcement help her participate in her own healthcare, including voluntary ultrasounds and blood draws.
Her incredible training by the zookeepers has allowed the zoo’s veterinary team to ultrasound Doppsee regularly through her pregnancy. The information gathered during Doppsee’s pregnancy will help scientists, veterinarians and zoos around the world learn more about black rhino pregnancies.
The zoo team continues to prepare the baby rhino by baby-proofing the barn, monitoring Doppsee’s behavior, and monitoring her hormone levels through blood draws. Zookeepers have felt the baby kicking in Doppsee’s belly many times and we’ve seen the heartbeat and the shape of the baby’s skull through ultrasounds! We can’t wait to meet Doppsee’s calf and help this incredible critically endangered species. Follow us on social media and our blog to stay up to date on Doppsee’s pregnancy journey!