Adored white rhinos at Birmingham Zoo find a new home

New home for Birmingham Zoo’s white rhinos. Photo via Birmingham Zoo

Birmingham Zoo announced that their three Southern White Rhinos are moving to a private facility. Recommended by the White Rhinos Species Survival Plan, the zoo has partnered with The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to ensure their safety. Read more to find out why it matters.

A little about white rhinos

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Max, the cutest white rhino. Photo via Birmingham Zoo

Did you know that white rhinos are the second-largest land mammal? Southern White Rhinos—the ones you once could see at Birmingham Zoo—are classified as Near Threatened. Basically, white rhinos are susceptible to becoming endangered, so it’s important to preserve and protect this species.

Birmingham Zoo’s plan

In order to fulfill their mission of conserving our natural world, Birmingham Zoo wants to work with other zoos around the world to protect species like the white rhino. So, the Birmingham Zoo worked with other zoos’ protection programs to assist in cooperative breeding. 

Two female white rhinos—Laptop and Ajabu, a mom & daughter duo—have been in the Birmingham Zoo since November 2008. Before coming to Birmingham, the two lived at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas. The third rhino, Max, was brought in from Florida in an effort to breed in 2012. 

Now, the zoo’s three rhinos are now moving to a larger herd in hopes of further sustaining the Near Threatened species. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities for them to breed and grow the species.

“We have been working with the White Rhino SSP to place our rhinos at a facility where they will have more breeding success. As we have learned more about this species, we have new knowledge that larger facilities that can hold more white rhinos have more breeding success.”

Hollie Colahan, Birming Zoo Vice President of Living Collections

What to expect

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A couple of rhinos. Photo via Birmingham Zoo

The zoo has been working with species survival plans to find a better home for the white rhinos. Currently, they are working on gaining black rhinos that are in need of preservation.

On the other hand, we’re excited to see Birmingham Zoo transition the empty hippo habitat into a suitable home for black rhinos. You can expect to see black rhinos at our zoo around springtime.

We’re sad to see Laptop, Ajabu and Max go, but we’re glad that the zoo will be able to house black rhinos—a critically endangered species.

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Summer Guffey
Art enthusiast and expert on all things tea.
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