Twelve-year-old Faru and his partner, Seiya, are expecting a baby early next month and the father-to-be has been donating his blood for the last nine weeks without complaint.
The blood is for his unborn child and the zoo is collecting it in the event that the mother is unable to properly raise the calf.
“We're banking plasma from Faru as a safety in case first-time-mom Seyia is not able to care for her baby,” said Christina Gorsuch, the Cincinnati Zoo's curator of mammals, said in a statement. “The hope is that the calf will nurse and be raised by her mom, but some inexperienced moms aren't sure what to do with their offspring and humans have to step in to provide nourishment and warmth. If that happens this time, we'll be able to give the calf the best start possible, with help from her dad.”
Staff members say Faru is a trooper about the whole process and actually appears to enjoy the constant attention.
Black rhinos are native to Eastern and Central Africa. An adult can weigh anywhere between 1,760 and 3,080 pounds, and newborns weigh between 73 and 121 pounds, according to the zoo.
The species is critically endangered due to poaching and habitat loss. Fewer than 5,000 black rhinos remain in the world, and approximately 115 are cared for in North America zoos.