The WIlds

The Wilds Celebrates the Birth of a Second White Rhino Calf This Month

The Wilds is celebrating the birth of the second bundle of joy—in the form of a white rhinoceros—born at The Wilds this month! In the early morning hours of Friday, December 18, 2020, the male calf was born in the rhinos’ large, heated barn.

The calf and his 7-year-old mother, Kali, also born at The Wilds, are doing well and continue to bond. Animal Management staff note that Kali, a first-time mom, is very attentive to her little one and is providing him with exceptional care. This is the sixth calf for 16-year-old father, Roscoe, who was born at the Knoxville Zoo. He moved to the Seneca Park Zoo when he was 2 years old and has been living at The Wilds since 2014.

Southern White Rhino Calf (Boy) 1376 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Southern White Rhino Calf (Boy) 1376 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Southern White Rhino Calf (Boy) 1376 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Southern White Rhino Calf (Boy) 1376 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

This calf is the 24th white rhino to be born at The Wilds. On December 9, a female white rhino calf was also born to mother, Kifaru, and father, Roscoe. Kifaru and her calf continue to be doing well and will soon be introduced to Kali and her baby. Both calves are currently unnamed, but names will be announced soon!

The Wilds is the only facility outside of Africa that has had rhinos born four and five generations removed from their wild-born ancestors. That success continues with this birth. Kali is now the fourth fourth-generation female at The Wilds to give birth to the sixth fifth-generation calf. Counting Asian one-horned rhinos, another species that lives at The Wilds, this calf marks the 32nd rhino to be born at The Wilds since the first rhino was born at the facility in 2004.

The pairings of Kali and Roscoe and Kifaru and Roscoe were recommended through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). This program is designed to maintain a sustainable population and genetic diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care. The Wilds has also welcomed the births of eight Asian one-horned rhinos since 2005. The most recent Asian one-horned rhino calf, a female named Rohini, was welcomed into The Wilds’ family on August 24, 2019.

“We are extremely proud of the success of our white rhino program at The Wilds. Tthe multigenerational herd is a true testament to our Animal Management team’s expertise and the great care they provide to the animals. White rhinos continue to face many challenges in their native range, and the arrival of each calf is truly a cause for celebration. Each birth is vital in protecting the future of the species,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf.

“Welcoming our second white rhinoceros calf this month truly is a wonderful gift. These little ambassadors for their species will touch your heart when you come to visit us for a Winter at The Wilds tour! Thanks to our community’s support, we can continue our important conservation work with threatened and endangered species, and continue inspiring others to take action to help make a positive difference in our world,” said Dr. Jan Ramer, vice president of The Wilds.

The white rhino population had dwindled to an estimated 50-200 individuals at the beginning of the 20th century. Still, through conservation efforts, the population of white rhinos in their native range in Africa has rebounded to about 20,400 animals. However, even with the increase in numbers, the species remains classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). All five remaining rhino species in Africa and Asia (white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, greater one-horned rhinoceros, Javan rhinoceros, and Sumatran rhinoceros) are killed by poachers who sell rhino horn for ornamental or traditional medicinal purposes even though there are no scientifically proven health benefits for its use. The horns are made of keratin—the same substance that makes up fingernails and hair. The International Rhino Foundation estimates that one rhino is killed every 10 hours for its horn.

White rhino calves are born after a gestation of 16 months and they can grow to be 4,000 pounds and six feet tall at their shoulder. Their habitats typically consist of plains or woodlands, interspersed with grassy openings. Through reintroduction efforts, their native range has been established in southern and eastern African countries.

Their physical characteristics are two pointed horns and a wide mouth suitable for grazing. The name white rhinoceros originated from the Afrikaans word describing the animal’s mouth – wyd, meaning “wide.” Early English settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the word wyd for “white.”

To further protect the future of rhinos, The Wilds and the Columbus Zoo has provided more than $218,000 in the last five years in support of conservation projects benefiting rhinos in their native ranges, such as monitoring black and white rhinos in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region through the International Rhino Foundation, protecting black rhinos in the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary in Kenya through the African Wildlife Foundation and habitat restoration focused on the shortgrass that white rhinos eat through the White Rhinos: Rhinoceros Fund Uganda.

Guests may have the opportunity to view the calves and their mothers, along with the other rhinos in the rhino barn during a Winter at The Wilds Tour. Tours are available at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. through April. Please note that reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance.


It’s a Girl! The Wilds Celebrates The Birth of a White Rhino Calf

Cumberland, OH – The Wilds is excited to welcome an adorable female white rhinoceros calf, who was born in the rhinos’ large, heated barn during the early morning hours of Wednesday, December 9, 2020.

The calf and her 9-year-old mother, Kifaru, who was also born at The Wilds, are doing well and continue to bond. Animal Management staff note that first-time mom, Kifaru, is being very attentive to her little one and providing her with great care. This is the fifth calf for 16-year-old father, Roscoe, who was born at the Knoxville Zoo. He moved to the Seneca Park Zoo when he was 2 years old and has been living at The Wilds since 2014.

Southern White Rhino Calf 9372 - Grahm S. Jones  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Southern White Rhino Calf 9372 - Grahm S. Jones  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Southern White Rhino Calf 9372 - Grahm S. Jones  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

While the calf is currently unnamed, a name will be announced soon! This calf is the 23rd white rhino to be born at The Wilds. The Wilds is the only facility outside of Africa that has had rhinos born four and five generations removed from their wild-born ancestors. That success continues with this birth. The new calf is the fifth fifth-generation white rhino born at The Wilds. Counting Asian one-horned rhinos, another species that lives at The Wilds, this calf marks the 31st rhino to be born at The Wilds since the first rhino was born at the facility in 2004.

The pairing of Kifaru and Roscoe was recommended through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). This program is designed to maintain a sustainable population and genetic diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care. The Wilds has also welcomed the births of eight Asian one-horned rhinos since 2005. The most recent Asian one-horned rhino calf, a female named Rohini, was welcomed into The Wilds’ family on August 24, 2019.

“Wildlife conservation is a top priority for our organization, and we’re extremely proud of the contributions we’re making to help protect the future of rhinos and other threatened and endangered species. The arrival of this calf symbolizes hope and also inspires us as we’re reminded that our work is making a difference,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf.

“The birth of a rhinoceros calf is always cause for celebration! Rhinos continue to face many threats in their native range, and every rhino is crucial to the population. This calf joins The Wilds’ herd of important ambassadors – through them we can continue to connect our guests with these wonderful animals, and try to inspire everyone to take action to help,” said Dr. Jan Ramer, vice president of The Wilds.

The white rhino population had dwindled to an estimated 50-200 individuals at the beginning of the 20th century, but through conservation efforts, the population of white rhinos in their native range in Africa has rebounded to about 20,400 animals. However, even with the increase in numbers, the species remains classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). All five remaining rhino species in Africa and Asia (white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, greater one-horned rhinoceros, Javan rhinoceros, and Sumatran rhinoceros) are killed by poachers who sell rhino horn for ornamental or traditional medicinal purposes even though there are no scientifically proven health benefits for its use. The horns are made of keratin—the same substance that makes up fingernails and hair. The International Rhino Foundation estimates that one rhino is killed every 10 hours for its horn.

White rhino calves are born after a gestation of 16 months and they can grow to be 4,000 pounds and six feet tall at their shoulder. Their habitats typically consist of plains or woodlands, interspersed with grassy openings. Through reintroduction efforts, their native range has been established in southern and eastern African countries.

Their physical characteristics are two pointed horns and a wide mouth suitable for grazing. The name white rhinoceros originated from the Afrikaans word describing the animal’s mouth – wyd, meaning “wide.” Early English settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the word wyd for “white.”

To further protect the future of rhinos, The Wilds and the Columbus Zoo has provided more than $218,000 in the last five years in support of conservation projects benefiting rhinos in their native ranges, such as monitoring black and white rhinos in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region through the International Rhino Foundation, protecting black rhinos in the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary in Kenya through the African Wildlife Foundation and habitat restoration focused on the shortgrass that white rhinos eat through the White Rhinos: Rhinoceros Fund Uganda.

Guests may have the opportunity to view the new calf, Kifaru and Roscoe, along with the other rhinos, in the rhino barn during a Winter at The Wilds Tour. Tours are available at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. through April. Please note that reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance.

For more information, please visit TheWilds.org and follow The Wilds’ social media accounts on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

 


‘The Wilds’ Sees Greater One-horned Rhino Birth

1_Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf 1642 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Wilds, in Cumberland, OH, proudly welcomed a Greater One-horned Rhinoceros calf on August 24.

The female calf is receiving excellent care from her mother and is the eighth Greater One-horned Rhino to be born at The Wilds. The birth is a significant achievement as the species nearly went extinct during the 20th century.

The calf and mom, Sanya, are doing well and have been bonding in pasture on The Wilds property. The Animal Management team has been monitoring the pair closely and has not needed to provide any immediate assistance, as Sanya is an experienced mother and the calf appears to be strong and healthy. Calves usually weigh more than 100 pounds at birth and gain a few pounds every day. An adult Greater One-horned Rhino can reach weights of approximately 4,000 to 6,000 pounds.

2_Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf 1694 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

3_Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf 1814 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

4_Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf 2337 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and AquariumPhoto Credits: Amanda Carberry/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Sanya, born at the Toronto Zoo in 1999, has now given birth to five calves since arriving at The Wilds in 2004. The calf’s father, Jahi, was born at Zoo Tampa in 2011, moved to the Central Florida Zoo in 2013 and then arrived at The Wilds in 2017 as per a breeding recommendation through the Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to maintain genetic diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care. This newborn is Jahi’s first offspring.

The Wilds, home to three Greater One-horned Rhinos, is one of only 30 facilities in North America to care for this species. The Wilds is also home to 15 Southern White Rhinos. In total, more than 500 animals representing 28 species from around the world make up the animal population at the open-range, natural landscape at The Wilds.

Once listed as an endangered species, the Greater One-horned Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) has seen a steady population increase thanks to strict government protection and is now listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as “Vulnerable”. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there were only 600 individuals surviving in their native ranges of India and Nepal by 1975. Since then, researchers estimate the population has grown to exceed 3,000 Greater One-horned Rhinos living in these areas.

“We are thrilled to welcome this little rhinoceros into our Wilds family! Every rhinoceros is important to the survival of his or her species. While there has been some success in rhinoceros conservation recently, unfortunately, there are still threats to all rhino species. They are being poached for their horn, even though it is made only of keratin— the equivalent of fingernails—and they are facing habitat destruction in their native ranges. We are proud to be able to contribute to rhino conservation by welcoming this incredible new arrival, as the calf represents hope for future generations of Greater One-horned Rhinos,” said Dr. Jan Ramer, vice president of The Wilds.

The new calf may be visible to guests during either an Open-Air Safari or Wildside Tour. For more information about The Wilds or to book your visit, please visit www.TheWilds.org .

5_Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf 2527 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

6_Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf 1917 - Amanda Carberry  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium


The Wilds Celebrates Birth Of Giraffe Calf

Vert Giraffe Calf 7263 - Grahm S

The Wilds is proud to announce the birth of a male Masai Giraffe calf on July 10. Guests taking an Open-Air Safari Tour witnessed the birth in the open pasture at The Wilds, creating an unforgettable experience. So far, the calf appears strong and healthy, staying close to his mother. The Giraffe care team monitors mom and baby as they make their daily rounds.

Giraffe Calf 7015 - Grahm S. Jones  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Giraffe Calf 7303 - Grahm S. Jones  Columbus Zoo and AquariumPhoto Credit: Grahm S. Jones/Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

The calf’s father, Raha, was born at the Los Angeles Zoo in April 2006, and the calf’s mother, Lulu, was born at Cincinnati Zoo in October 2012. This calf is Lulu’s first, and he was born after a gestation period of about 15 months. Like all Giraffe births, Lulu delivered her calf while standing up. Within a few hours of his birth, the calf stood, nursed, and began walking.

The breeding of Raha and Lulu was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program designed to increase the genetic health and diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care.

“Welcoming a Giraffe calf to our herd is always an incredibly exciting time for our team,” said The Wilds Vice President Dr. Jan Ramer. “Not only is this birth a milestone here at The Wilds, but it also gives us great hope and a foothold to sustain declining populations of this species in their native ranges.”

Giraffes are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, due to habitat degradation and poaching. In an effort to reduce threats to Giraffes, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds support several conservation projects in Giraffe range countries across Africa, including the Serengeti Giraffe Project based in Tanzania, the Giraffe Research and Conservation Trust in Kenya, and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in Namibia and Uganda.

Male Giraffes can grow to be 18 feet tall at their horn tips and weigh between 1,800 and 4,300 lbs. Females are 13 to 15 feet tall and weigh between 1,200 and 2,600 lbs. Giraffes are the tallest of all extant land-living animals and are the largest ruminants. Their native ranges are savannas, grasslands or open woodlands in central and southern African countries.

See more photos of the calf below.

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Endangered Painted Dog Pups Explore Their Exhibit

1_African Painted Dogs 7590 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

A litter of six endangered Painted Dog puppies were born at The Wilds in December. After being cared for exclusively by their mother and the other pack members, the pups have now begun exploring the publicly visible areas of The Wilds property.

“The Wilds has managed Painted Dogs for years, but this is our first successful litter,” said Dan Beetem, Director of Animal management at The Wilds. “Even though we assembled a new pack last year in order to provide the younger dogs with the greatest opportunity to breed, we remained cautiously optimistic. Young mothers are often not successful with their first, or even second, litter. But Quinn, a first-time mom, surprised us by being an attentive caregiver from the start.”

2_African Painted Dogs 7660 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

3_African Painted Dogs 7609 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

4_African Painted Dogs 7618 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and AquariumPhoto Credits: Grahm S. Jones / Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Painted Dogs (Lycaon pictus), also known as African Wild Dogs, are one of Africa’s most endangered species. These dogs have disappeared from much of their former range throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and their populations are continuing to decline; researchers estimate that only about 6,600 Painted Dogs are left in their native regions. Challenges with humans are the main threats to their survival, and the Painted Dog populations have declined due to continued habitat fragmentation, conflict with human activities, and infectious disease, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

Operated by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and located in Cumberland, Ohio, The Wilds is one of the country’s largest conservation centers helping to protect this species’ future by participating in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) program, which is coordinated to increase genetic diversity and population sustainability of threatened and endangered species in managed care.

Additionally, the Zoo’s conservation fund has supported 10 wild dog conservation projects in six countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. These grants cover training scouts in protected areas, educating children in local communities, recording populations in native regions, developing conservation corridors, reducing human conflict, and developing an effective rabies vaccine.

“At The Wilds, we are in a unique position to preserve some of the planet’s most amazing and most endangered animals,” The Wilds Vice President Rick Dietz said. “We are overjoyed and honored to welcome a new generation of African Painted Dogs, which could easily go extinct in our lifetimes if we don’t cooperate to save these animals.”

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Baby Rhino Snuggles With Mom at The Wilds

Rhino (Greater One-Horned) Calf 0012 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
A Greater One-horned Rhino – a species that nearly went extinct in the 20th century – was born at the Wilds conservation center on November 11. This is the seventh Greater One-horned Rhino to be born at the Wilds

The calf and his mom, Sanya, are doing well and have been bonding in the barn on the Wilds property. The animal care team has been monitoring the pair closely, but has not needed to provide any immediate assistance to the experienced mother. Calves usually weigh more than 100 pounds at birth and gain a few pounds every day. An adult Greater One-horned Rhino can weigh 4,000 to 6,000 pounds.   

Rhino (Greater One-Horned) Calf 0046 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Rhino (Greater One-Horned) Calf 9983 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and AquariumPhoto Credit:  Grahm S. Jones/Columbus Zoo & Aquarium



“Rhino conservation has come a long way in the past 100 years, but there is still work to be done,” said Daniel Beetem, director of animal management at the Wilds. “Rhinos continue to be poached for the misconception that their horns have medicinal value, when the horns are the chemical equivalent of human fingernails. Rhinos also face the imminent danger of declining habitat quality. We are proud to help keep this incredible species alive through our breeding program at the Wilds.”   

Sanya, born in Toronto in 1999, has now given birth to four calves since arriving at the Wilds in 2004. The father, Rustum, was born at a zoo in India and imported to the United States in 2007 to bring genetic diversity to the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). This newborn is Rustum’s fifth offspring. 

The Wilds, home to four Greater One-horned Rhinos, is one of only 26 facilities in North America to care for this species. The Wilds is also home to 13 southern white Rhinos. In total, more than 500 animals representing 29 species from around the world make up the animal population at the open-range, natural landscape at the Wilds.  

Once listed as an endangered species, the Greater One-horned Rhino have seen a steady population increase thanks to strict government protection. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there were only 600 individuals surviving in their native ranges of India and Nepal by 1975. Since then, researchers estimate the population has grown to exceed 3,000 Greater One-horned Rhinos living in these areas.  

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