Rhino Savanna opens Friday at the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert
PALM DESERT, CA – The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens will officially open their Rhino Savanna this Friday.
The four-acre, $17 million habitat will house 12 African species, including two black rhinos for which the habitat is named. The rhinos, Jaali and Nia, will be the zoo’s largest animals, weighing about 3,000 pounds and standing about 5.5 feet tall on their shoulders once they reach maturity, officials say.
“This new habitat reflects the successful collaboration of countless entities, including our donors, staff, board members, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, contractors and many more,” said Allen Monroe. , Chairman and CEO of The Living Desert. “This opening also signifies a deep commitment to The Living Desert’s conservation initiatives to protect black rhinos in their native range.”
Black rhinos are currently listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with only around 5,600 reported in Africa. According to officials, their main threat is humans due to rampant poaching for their horns.
Three-year-old Nia and Jalli, who will turn two on Christmas Eve, have been paired up as breeding partners as part of the species survival plan and will each have their own separate space in the habitat due to nature typically solitary of the species.
The Living Desert is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and more information is available at www.livingdesert.org.