Ayubu, the black rhino calf born at Lee Richardson Zoo, made his outdoor debut on March 8, 2021. He was a little hesitant at first. Mom was the first to peek out, checking out the noises from the nearby construction at Garden Rapids at the Big Pool. She then went back and forth a few times until they were both outside. Their first adventure outside together included exploring the top of the dirt mound, running all over the yard, and somewhat synchronized mud baths.
Many zoo staff were watching the occasion, either in person or via closed-circuit cameras, as well as zoo guests.
“This is one of the proudest moments of my career! This is a tremendous accomplishment for Lee Richardson Zoo and its staff,” said Animal Care Manager Pablo Holguin as he grinned ear to ear beneath his mask.
Ayubu was born on January 20 to Johari and Jabari. He is their first offspring. His birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for rhinos. Based on current local weather predictions, the rhinos should be outdoors late morning to mid-afternoon during the first part of the week. That is subject to change depending on outdoor conditions.
Eastern black rhinos are native to eastern Africa (Kenya and Tanzania). They are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Be sure to check the zoo’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, and website for video updates.