As Nashville Zoo prepares for the upcoming opening of the new white rhino exhibit, we also celebrate and recognize World Rhino Day! Later this year, we will welcome a pair of male white rhinos into the former elephant habitat. In the future, the Zoo plans to import a group of female white rhinos with plans to breed the group as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.
Nashville Zoo rhino conservation efforts extend beyond our participation in AZA’s Species Survival Plan. We recently celebrated the success of our inaugural conservation concert, Rockin' for Rhinos. Also, each year we support the International Rhino Foundation through financial contributions. Your visit to Nashville Zoo allows this support to happen. With the addition of white rhinos, we are excited to help spread awareness and be involved with hands-on conservation efforts of this vanishing species.
Did you know rhinos could go extinct in our lifetime? At the start of the 20st century, over 500,000 rhinoceros roamed the wild. By 1970, the worldwide population had dwindled down to 70,000. Today, only a mere 29,000 survive in the wild.
There are five species of rhinoceros. Four of which are facing the threat of extinction:
The current surge in poaching for their horns, particularly in South Africa, has seen record numbers of rhinos killed in recent years averaging three or more deaths each day. Last year, poachers killed nearly 1,200 rhinos in South Africa alone. Urgent efforts are underway to put a permanent end to poaching and illegal trade.
This year on World Rhino Day, show your support and spread awareness by doing these two things:
Learn more about conservation efforts and the threats against rhinos in the wild at http://rhinos.org/the-crisis/ and www.rhinos.org.