SAN DIEGO – Victoria the rhino is pregnant after the first successful artificial insemination in the San Diego Zoo’s 102-year history, officials announced Thursday.
“Science win!” the zoo posted on Facebook Thursday, adding in a statement that Victoria’s pregnancy may be the key to saving another rhino species.
Victoria is a southern white rhino, and is “part of our one-of-a-kind rescue program to save her cousins, the northern white rhino.” There are only two northern white rhinos alive on Earth after poachers decimated their population, according to the zoo.
Victoria’s landmark pregnancy is proof that the zoo’s method works; the next step is to replicate the scientific achievement with a northern white rhino.
Zoo officials also released an ultrasound image of the rhino fetus. It’s still early for Victoria, who’s now seven weeks into the pregnancy period, which, for rhinos, usually lasts 16 to 18 months.
You can follow updates on Victoria’s progress on the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy website.