Date: 2021

Donation: Ultrasound & Training

Clinic Statement/Story:

Sound has recently partnered with the Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2) in their quest to establish a viable Southern Black Rhino population. They will be focusing on breeding, research, exhibition, and (if possible and appropriate) the ultimate reintroduction of these animals into the wild.

Southern Black Rhinos have always been seen as a captivating species due to their incredible stature and magnificent horns. These striking features however have also been the reason for their demise. Many eastern cultures believe that rhino horns can be used to cure ailments in traditional medicine and rhinos have been hunted to near extinction as they are killed for the rhino horn trade. The population of black rhinos, by the later part of the 20th century decreased by 96%. By 1993, there were only about 2,300 surviving black rhinos in the wild- a drastic comparison to the 65,000 wild rhinos in Africa only 23 years before that. The population is slowly rebounding with now approx. 3,142 black rhinos living in the wild today. But the threat of poaching remains strong.

With only 40 of these Southern Black Rhino’s in captivity, reproductive rate is very low, making continued survival impossible. Through reproductive intervention and genetic banking, C2S2 intends to preserve the genetic potential of the existing population and produce calves through assisted reproductive technologies to augment natural breeding efforts. The ultrasound system Sound has donated C2S2 will be used in Africa similarly to the system we placed at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Park to assist them with their Northern White Rhino project. The systems images will help veterinarians get detailed ovulation cycles of females in the population and their uterine and ovarian health for possible assisted reproduction to expedite population growth.

You can follow the progress along with us at: https://conservationcenters.org/programs/sustainability-programs/southern-black-rhino/