Audubon Zoo Welcomes
Two-Ton White Rhino
Bonnie comes to Audubon from Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she was born and raised. The 4,200–pound rhino arrived in late April and has spent the past several weeks adjusting to her new surroundings.
“The hope is she will breed with our male Saba and produce much needed new blood into the captive rhino population,” said Audubon Zoo Curator of Hoofstock, Bill Smith.
Macite arrived at Audubon in 1998 as part of a similar strategy to stimulate breeding between the established pair, Saba and Yvonne. That plan appeared to work and Yvonne produced a baby in 2003. Macite has no offspring of her own.
“All five species are critically endangered due to the false belief that their horn contains medicinal powers. In fact, their horns are made of Keratin, the same substance that makes up human hair and fingernails. If the levels of poaching for rhinos continue to rise at the current pace, there could be no wild rhinos for our grandchildren to enjoy,” Smith said.
Rhino horn has two main markets: it is sold to Asian countries for use in traditional medicine, and to Middle Eastern countries, which consider horn a prized material with which to make ornately carved handles for ceremonial daggers known as jamiyas.
Bonnie will soon inhabit the African Savanna exhibit in Audubon Zoo located at 6500 Magazine Street. For more information, visit auduboninstitute.org.
Audubon Nature Institute is a 501(c)3 not for profit that operates a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. These New Orleans facilities include: Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Freeport–McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Entergy IMAX® Theatre, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and Audubon Nature Institute Foundation. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.
Contact: Frank Donze