In a move recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’(AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), the body that manages animal populations for its member organizations, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s wildly popular young black rhino, Kendi, is heading to San Diego Zoo Safari Park to do his part to save his critically endangered species. He will roam in an expansive, mixed-herd habitat.
“Members and staff will be sad to see Kendi go,” said Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard. “The good news is that he is going to a great facility and will be paired with a female when he’s ready to breed. There are fewer than 60 eastern black rhinos in the North American Zoo population, so getting pairs that are good genetic matches together is important.”
Kendi was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in July of 2017 and was one of only five eastern black rhinos born in North America in 2016/2017. Only one surviving calf was born in 2014/2015.
“The SSP has given us the green light to breed Kendi’s parents, Seyia and Faru, again,” said Maynard. “Faru has sired two calves, one at the Atlanta Zoo, so we’re optimistic about having another calf here. With a 15-month gestation period, the soonest we could hope to see a little one is next winter.”
Kendi will be leaving in the next couple of weeks. He has already started training behind the scenes to make the move as easy as possible, so he’s not out all the time. He will definitely be out in his yard this Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so Kendi fans will have an opportunity to say goodbye and wish him well! The Zoo opens daily at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Cincinnati Zoo members enjoy early entry at 9 a.m. For more information visit www.cincinnatizoo.org.
About eastern black rhinos:
Eastern black rhinos, native to Eastern and Central Africa, have two large horns made of keratin that they use for defense, intimidation, and feeding. An adult can weigh anywhere between 1,760 and 3,080 pounds, and newborns (calves) weigh between 73 – 121 pounds. The species is Critically Endangered due to poaching and habitat loss. Fewer than 5,000 black rhinos remain in the world.