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Zoo collects plasma from black rhino ahead of calf's birth

| Monday, June 19, 2017, 10:24 p.m.
This Aug. 28, 2013 file photo provided by Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo shows an Eastern black rhinoceros calf and its mother, 8-year-old Kapuki, at the zoo in Chicago.

CINCINNATI — An Ohio zoo thinks it has a candidate for father of the year weeks before his offspring is born.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has been processing blood to collect plasma from 12-year-old black rhinoceros Faru (FAHR'-ooh) in case first-time mother Seyia (SAY'-yuh) rejects the calf due in July and it has to be hand-raised.

The plasma would be used to boost the calf's immune system.

Zoo officials say Faru has been mostly cooperative with the blood draws that began in April and last 15 minutes. They say he enjoys the attention.

The zoo has been banking plasma, which can be frozen and stored indefinitely, since 1998.

Adult black rhinos can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms). Newborns weigh as much as 120 pounds (54 kilograms).

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