Bibi the Rhino Surprisingly Gives Birth at Kansas' Sedgwick County Zoo 6 Months After Her Mate Dies

KJ, Klyde Jr., was born this week at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas.

The baby rhino was named KJ on Friday, officials told Inside Edition Digital. KJ most likely weighed between 50-100 pounds at birth, a zoo spokesperson said.

KJ, aka Klyde Jr., the baby rhino has arrived at Kansas' Sedgwick County Zoo in a wonderful yet unexpected surprise for the animal care team, the zoo said.

Bibi become pregnant in October 2019 during a breeding event but continued to show signs of cycling throughout the 16-month gestation period, leading caretakers to believe that their breeding attempts had been unsuccessful.

But then early lab results last month showed Bibi was indeed expecting surprising the team in the best of ways, KWCH12 News reported

“Bibi's pregnancy was quite a shock since the Zoo's male rhino, Klyde, passed away in Sept. 2020, and the pair had only two successful breeding attempts observed during their time together at SCZ,” according to a statement from the zoo.

Without access to specialty ultrasound equipment, the animal team could only speculate a gestational age and potential due date. It was only over the last few weeks that Bibi started showing signs that little Klyde Jr. was ready to meet his new mom.

On Monday at 6 a.m., Klyde, Jr, an eastern black rhinoceros, arrived. Zookeepers decided to name the new offspring, KJ, or Klyde Jr., in honor of his dad. The rhino was named Friday, SCZ spokesperson Jennica King told Inside Edition Digital. 

The animal care team reported that mom weighed a robust 2,889 lbs. before giving birth, and explained that most black rhinos weigh between 55-100 pounds at birth, and said the team "will not have an accurate weight on him for some time," King said.

"We would have to separate KJ from Bibi in order to get him on a scale and we don't want to do that yet," King said. 

This is Bibi’s third baby and Klyde’s only offspring.

“This was a very welcome surprise for us,” said Dr. Jeff Ettling, President and CEO of SCZ. “Not only is it an important addition to the black rhino population, it’s the perfect way to carry on Klyde’s memory.”

In the meantime, the pair are bonding.

"Both mom and baby are doing well,” King said. "The baby has taken his first steps and is nursing frequently."

The pair will remain inside the zoo’s African Veldt building, which is currently closed to the public until warmer temperatures arrive. Until then, animal caretakers are busy baby-proofing the outdoor habitat, zoo officials said.