SD Zoo Global: World Rhino Day
(Sept. 22, 2020) Today, two southern white rhino calves played, chased impalas and met giraffes and African crowned cranes as they explored the expansive African Plains habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park – and at the same time, two greater one-horned rhino calves jogged and gave themselves mud baths in their Asian Savanna habitat. On World Rhino Day (Sept. 22) – and every day – San Diego Zoo Global works to bring about awareness of rhinos and the importance of conservation efforts to protect these iconic animals.
Rhino numbers are dwindling, primarily due to poaching and habitat loss. But not all is doom and gloom. San Diego Zoo Global and other conservation organizations worldwide are working to conserve rhino populations in many ways, including supporting and funding anti-poaching units; monitoring rhino populations in their native habitats and participating in conservation breeding, when needed; working with local communities to help ensure there is active participation in wildlife conservation; and working to bring about awareness of wildlife trafficking and the need for governments to enforce laws prohibiting wildlife crime.
Working with collaborators around the world, San Diego Zoo Global is dedicated to saving the northern white rhino from the brink of extinction through innovative reproductive technologies. Only two northern white rhinos remain on earth, residing at a wildlife conservancy in Kenya. Both are females and unable to reproduce naturally.
The artificial insemination and successful birth of two southern white rhino calves at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 2019 – Edward and Future – represent a critical step in the organization’s ongoing work to develop the scientific knowledge required to genetically recover the northern white rhino. These techniques could also be applied to other rhino species.
There are five species of rhinos: white, black, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan. The Safari Park is home to southern white rhinos, greater one-horned rhinos and black rhinos. On World Rhino Day and all year long, the public can help support San Diego Zoo Global’s rhino conservation efforts by donating at SanDiegoZoo.org/Rhinos. When visiting the Safari Park, those looking for a unique experience may want to participate in a special tour to see rhinos up close, including the Rhinos and Friends Behind-the-Scenes Safari, Wildlife Safari or Cart Safari. Visit SDZSafariPark.org for more information.