Rhinos

Rhinos

1

Rhino Wet Willy: Rhino Calf Introduced to Ankole Calf at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

RHINO WET WILLY: RHINO CALF INTRODUCED TO ANKOLE CALF AT SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK A 6-week-old greater one-horned rhino calf appears to stick his tongue in the ear of his new playmate, an 8-month-old Ankole calf, at the Ione and Paul Harter Animal CareA 6-week-old greater one-horned rhino calf appears to stick his tongue in the ear of his new playmate, an 8-month-old Ankole calf, at the Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park earlier today. The pair, introduced three days ago, is still getting to know each other but animal care staff at the Safari Park hope they will become longtime companions.

The male rhino calf, named Chutti, was born on Nov. 27, to a first-time mother in the Safari Park’s Asian Plains exhibit. The mother nursed and cared for her newborn for almost two weeks, but keepers realized he wasn’t gaining weight as he should. To provide the calf with the optimal care to thrive, he was brought to the Safari Park’s animal care center where he is being hand-raised.

 Since the rhino is being raised in a nursery setting, it is important for him to get daily exercise and have companionship. The female Ankole calf, affectionately named Moo Moo Kitty by keepers, was born on May 23 and also was born to a first-time mother that couldn’t properly care for her calf. Keepers hand-raised and recently weaned the Ankole, and they felt she would make the perfect companion for the little rhino since both are social animals. If Chutti and Moo Moo Kitty bond, they could be companions until the little rhino is weaned in 14 to 15 months.

 Visitors to the Safari Park may see these unlikely playmates at the animal care center nursery corral between 1 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. daily, weather permitting, and possibly other times throughout the day.

Photo taken on Jan. 9, by Dustin Trayer, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291

 

1

Critically Endangered Northern White Rhino at San Diego Zoo Safari Park Returns to the Field

NolaNola, a critically endangered 40-year-old female northern white rhino, who has been under close medical watch for the past 11 days in a boma at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, is showing signs of improved health and returned to her 65-acre field enclosure today where she was greeted by Cape buffalo that also share her habitat.

The elderly Nola was placed under veterinary care on Saturday, Dec. 27, after her keepers noticed she had reduced appetite and activity levels and had a thick nasal discharge. To provide the opportunity for optimal health, Nola was moved to a heated enclosure inside the South African Plains field exhibit to provide her comfort from the recent chilly weather and allow the animal care team to keep close watch over her. Veterinarians determined that, in addition to Nola’s age-related issues, she has a sinus infection and they are treating her with antibiotics.

Keepers report Nola was pleased to be back in the field where she has ample space to exercise and can enjoy time with her companion, a 45-year-old male southern white rhino named Chuck.

Nola is one of just five northern white rhinos left in the world. Three other northern white rhinos are at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya and one is in the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic. The five remaining rhinos have not been able to breed. Poaching for its horn has brought the northern white rhino to such critically low numbers.

Photo taken on Jan. 8, 2015, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291
3

Greater One-horned Rhino Calf Being Hand-raised at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf A 3-week-old greater one-horned rhino calf received a morning bottle feeding at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. After his feeding, he ventured out of his nursery stall for some fresh air and exercise with his keepers. The male calf, yet to be named, was born on Nov. 27 to first-time mother Kaya in the Safari Park’s Asian Plains exhibit.

The calf was small at birth, weighing about 160 pounds (the average birth weight for this species is 160 to 176 pounds). While Kaya nursed and cared for her newborn for almost two weeks, keepers monitoring the calf realized he wasn’t gaining weight as he should. To provide the calf with the optimal care to thrive, he was taken to the Safari Park’s animal care center where he is watched around-the-clock and bottle-fed every two hours.

Since the calf is being raised in a nursery setting, it is important for him to get daily exercise. After only a week in the nursery, the little rhino is growing stronger and gaining weight at almost four pounds a day. He currently weighs 190 pounds and when full grown can weigh between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds.

Visitors to the Safari Park may see the baby rhino at the animal care center nursery corral between 12:15 and 12:45 p.m. daily, weather permitting, when he is brought out to exercise.

Once widespread in Southeast Asia, the greater one-horned rhinoceros is now found only in India and Nepal. This species is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to poaching threats and the illegal use of rhino horn. Worldwide, a rhino dies every 8 hours due to poaching. There are an estimated 3,250 greater one-horned rhinos remaining in the wild. This calf is the 68th greater one-horned rhino born at the Safari Park since 1975, making the Park the foremost breeding facility in the world for this species.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts representing both plants and animals at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

Photo taken on Dec. 17, 2014, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291

2

Elderly Northern White Rhino Passes Away at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

SafariParkA northern white rhino, Angalifu, passed away in the early hours of this morning, Sunday December 14. The male rhino, who was estimated to be 44 years of age, was under veterinary care for a variety of age related conditions. His death leaves only 5 Northern white rhinos left in the world: one elderly female at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, 1 at a zoo in Czechoslovakia and 3 in Africa.

“Angalifu’s death is a tremendous loss to all of us.” said Randy Rieches, curator of mammals for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “Not only because he was well beloved here at the Park but also because his death brings this wonderful species one step closer to extinction.”

Northern white rhinos have been brought to the brink of extinction due to poaching in Africa. Unfortunately only a few have been preserved at zoos and these have been largely non-reproductive.

“More than two decades ago we started working with the species here at the Safari Park.” Said Barbara Durrant, director of reproductive physiology for the San Diego Zoo Institute of Conservation Research. “Unfortunately we only had three rhinos here at the Park and they were all of an advanced age. We were not able to get them to breed and we have been sadly watching their species being exterminated in the wild.”

In the wild rhinos are killed for their horns, a unique physiological feature made up of keratin (the same material in human fingernails). Many cultures believe rhino horn has medicinal value and the black-market in horns taken from poached animals continues to thrive.

Protected from the poaching that has wiped out northern white rhinos in Africa, Angalifu has been living at the Safari Park since his arrival from the Khartoum Zoo in the late 1980s. Although holding out little hope for the species, conservationists at San Diego Zoo Global continue to work to find a way to recover the species. Semen and testicular tissue from the male rhino have been stored in the Frozen Zoo with the hope that new reproductive technologies will allow recovery of the species.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the mission of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291