Popular zoo 90 minutes from Cedar Rapids welcomes its first rhino
A little over a century ago, the southern white rhino was nearly extinct. Now there’s one a short drive away, at a popular zoo.
Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, Illinois announced they welcomed a two-year-old southern white rhino named “Kito”. He is the first rhino of any type that the zoo has hosted.
Lee Jackson, director of the Niabi Zoo, said:
We are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to share an iconic mega vertebrate with the Quad Cities community, and to play a real role in their ongoing conservation efforts. This will be the first time that this or that rhino species has been kept in Niabi, and we are more than delighted to be able to share these magnificent animals with our community. Kito is just the start. We hope a female will join him here in early summer 2022 with the goal of producing offspring in the future.
The zoo unveiled the news this morning and also announced that Kito is now welcoming visitors to the Coal Valley Zoo in Illinois.
According to zoo, at the start of the 20th century, there were less than 50 southern white rhinos left. Fortunately, that number has risen to around 18,000 today. Other species weren’t so lucky. The western black rhinos went extinct in the wild in 2011 and the northern white rhino suffered the same fate in 2018.
The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines is home to black rhinos. A baby named Kamara was born in this zoo in the spring of 2019. You can read this story HERE.
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