Living Desert’s new Rhino Savanna will open on Friday, November 12
You will soon be able to visit the rhinos at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert!
The grand opening of the zoo’s new four-acre Rhino Savanna will begin with a grand opening ceremony on Friday, November 12 at 10 a.m.
The new state-of-the-art habitat is home to 12 African species, including the zoo’s largest animals, two black rhinos named Nia (pronounced Ny-a) and Jaali (pronounced Jolly).
Nia and Jaali arrived at Living Desert a few weeks ago. Jaali is from Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan; Nia arrives from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in Cleveland, Ohio.
The habitat will also include expansive vantage points and picturesque vistas await guests where they will also encounter waterbucks, springboks, two species of pelicans, and a variety of other birds. There are also underground animals like the naked mole rat, among others.
Discover a live preview of the habitat
âWe are delighted to officially welcome guests to the new Rhino Savanna. This expansion means a lot to so many, and we look forward to celebrating this gift with Coachella Valley, âsaid Allen Monroe, President / CEO of The Living Desert. âThis new habitat reflects the successful collaboration of countless entities, including our donors, staff, board members, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, entrepreneurs and many more. This openness also signifies a deep commitment to The Living Desert’s conservation initiatives to protect black rhinos in their native range.
The expansion project cost $ 17 million. With funding from various sources.
“The funds for this kind of project come from our capital programs and so we have been fundraising for several years to raise the millions of dollars that are needed that donors give us specifically to continue to improve the park on a large scale. scaleâ¦ like that, âsaid Allen Monroe, CEO of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens last fall.
âThrough years of planning and construction, the new Rhino Savanna is a cutting-edge space focused on animal welfare and choice,â said RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Care. âI am very proud of the team for all of their hard work and efforts to make this space possible, as well as their continued commitment to the animals in our care. I am delighted that our community is experiencing this new space and learning more about these fascinating animals. ”
The Living Desert participates in several conservation initiatives that support black rhinos in East and Southern Africa. Currently listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), the number of black rhinos is incredibly low – there are only 5,600 individuals in Africa. The main threats from black rhinos are humans, and in particular, the widespread poaching of their horns for poorly perceived medicinal remedies.
Mature Nia, three, and Jaali, who will be two years old on Christmas Eve, will weigh around 3,000 pounds and stand about 5.5 feet over their shoulders. They were paired as a breeding pair under the Species Survival Plan (SSP). Since black rhinos are solitary species, with the exception of breeding and rearing young, Jaali and Nia will each have distinct spaces in Rhino Savanna’s habitat.
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 âgoalâ 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.
The Living Desert is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last admission at 4 p.m. For more information visit LivingDesert.org.