Rhinos Are Back!

Rhinos are back in Tyler, Texas

The Caldwell Zoo is very excited to announce the return of rhinos to our family of animals. Scotty Stainback, Curator of Mammals, shares the news, “All of us are very happy to accept this amazing animal. Kiano came to us from the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa. He’s strong, healthy and a really impressive animal. Such a great an ambassador for his species.” The Caldwell Zoo has a long history of caring for rhinos. The team of keepers have decades of experience and there’s a custom made habitat, built specially to house these strong animals. Steve Marshall, President and CEO of the Caldwell Zoo gives some insight to this special news.

“The black rhinoceros is critically endangered in the wild. So, it’s important that we do everything we can to help these magnificent animals.  Poaching has decimated the wild population. As a member of AZA (the Association of Zoos and Aquariums) we work closely with zoos all around the country to help endangered species. Kiano is a wonderful representative for zoos working together to make a difference. He is certainly captivating and he’ll help bring awareness to the challenges rhinos face in the wild. Together we can help endangered species through careful breeding programs and conservation efforts around the globe.”

Kiano is now twelve years old, which is mature for a black rhino.  He was born in 2010, the progeny of a breeding program at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He, in turn, has also contributed to a breeding program and has sired two offspring. With the black rhino facing serious challenges in the wild, they need our help. That’s why AZA is so active in careful breeding and conservation efforts. By breeding endangered species, we can preserve healthy genetic diversities in the safety of zoos. By doing this, we may be able to reintroduce captive bred animals back into their native lands and save these animals from extinction.

It takes time for an animal like Kiano to get settled into a new home. So, the keeper team does everything possible to allow him to adjust and relax. After an initial quarantine period, he is given full range to his new habitat. We are thrilled to announce that Kiano has settled in nicely and he’s ready for guests to come visit and be awed by this iconic animal.

Rhino facts:

  • There are 5 species of rhino
  • Black Rhino is listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN
  • Rhinos are the second largest land mammal
  • Rhinos are strictly vegetarian
  • The black rhino is gray, just like the white rhino
  • The rhinos are endangered due to poaching for their horns
  • The rhino horn is made of keratin. The same substance as our fingernails.
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