Sumatran rhino calf lies on his mother, Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, 2002
CINCINNATI (AP) - With the survival of a species on the line, Cincinnati Zoo scientists are hoping to mate their lone female Sumatran rhino with her little brother.
The desperation effort follows a meeting in Singapore among conservationists that concluded there might be as few as 100 of the two-horned, hairy rhinos remaining in their native southeast Asia. Species numbers have dropped sharply as development takes away habitat and poachers hunt them for their prized horns.
The Cincinnati Zoo has been a pioneer in captive breeding of the rhino species. It recently brought the male back to his birthplace from the Los Angeles Zoo and soon will try to have him mate with its lone female. Scientist Terri Roth says inbreeding carries risks, but it's necessary to start producing more rhino babies.
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