How to get two rhinos across the country? The Living Desert shares details of 10-state trek
Two new residents of the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, rhinos Jaali and Nia, have arrived at their new home in Palm Desert.
Calling the trip through the country “rhinorous,” zoo officials shared a video and preview of how Jaali and Nia got to Coachella Valley. The zoo previously told News Channel 3 that Jaali was from Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan; Nia arrives from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dr Andrea Goodnight, Chief Veterinarian, and Heather Down, Animal Care Curator, rode the trailer with experienced rhino movement specialists as part of the transport team.
“Throughout the trip, Jaali and Nia were closely monitored via constant CCTV and regular physical checks, in addition to several stops to provide food and water to ensure their health and well-being.” read the post on social media.
“Jaali and Nia are both settling in well. They eat, drink and acclimatize to their new space, while also learning about their animal care team, ”said Jared Moeller, Animal Care Curator at Rhino Savanna. “Over the next few days or weeks, Jaali and Nia will continue to feel comfortable with their new home and will then be introduced to their new habitat.”
CHECK IT OUT: Live interactive webcams showing the animals at Living Desert Zoo & Gardens
This is part of a great effort called “Carrefour pour la conservation”. This is a master plan that began in 2015 to help protect endangered species.
Living Desert’s new Rhino Savanna is slated to open on November 12. You will not be able to see Jaali and Nia before this date. The four-acre habitat will be home to a variety of African wildlife, including the black rhino, waterbuck, klipspringer, and pelican.
You can watch the construction live here:
Zoo staff hope the couple will form a family unit in the new habitat. “As one of 25 establishments accredited by AZA to care for eastern black rhinos, we are all working together collaboratively to ensure this iconic species does not become extinct,” said Breitigan. “These two have been strategically paired, and we have high hopes for their future breeding success here at The Living Desert.
Last September, The Living Desert gave News Channel 3 viewers a snapshot of the progress being made. Check out this report on the new rhino habitat here.
Meet Jaali: Jaali was born on December 24, 2019 to his mother, Doppsee, and father, Phineus, and his birth marked the first rhino birth at Potter Park Zoo in its 100-year history. Jaali means “mighty” in Swahili, and according to his Potter Park Zoo animal care team he is very curious and loves attention. Jaali is from Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan.
Meet Nia: Nia, which means “goal” in Swahili, was born on August 20, 2018 to her mother, Inge, and father, Forrest. Her animal care team shared that Nia is very intelligent and eager to learn and participate in her breeding training. Nia will arrive from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in Cleveland, Ohio.