A rhino gave birth to a male calf in the Assam State Zoo here on Sunday night. This is the first calf born under the ex-situ conservation programme of the Asian rhino. Under the programme, the Assam State Zoo is the coordinating zoo and the Delhi and the Patna Zoos are the participating ones.

The programme aims at having at least 100 healthy rhinos bred in captivity.

The calf was born in an off-display enclosure, constructed with funds from the Central Zoo Authority. The mother, ‘Baghekhaity,’ was rescued from Kaziranga on August 10, 1991 at the age of one. The sire ‘Bishnu’ is zoo-born, aged 26.

Apart from the rhino, the Assam State Zoo has also been selected for ex-situ conservation programme of serow, golden langur, golden cat and grey peacock pheasant.