The Morning Brew: OKC Zoo rhino moving to new home
OKC Zoo rhino on the move
Rupert, a rhino born at the Oklahoma City Zoo is being transferred to the Mesker Park Zoo in Indiana, the zoo announced Monday.
Rupert, a Greater One-Horned rhino, was born on June 21, 2014 after a 15 month gestation period.
His birth was the result of a recommendation from the Species Survival Planning Committee for Greater One-Horned rhinos. The recommendation to breed was based off his parents Niki and Chandra’s genetic compatibility. Chandra arrived at the OKC Zoo November 1990 and has since sired several offspring with other females. Niki was a new addition, arriving at the Zoo in February 2009.
Rupert is now ready to head off to his next adventure at Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana. There, he’ll share his habitat with a grand, older female named Meski until a young female is available for him to breed with. We’ll truly miss watching our little guy romp around, but this move is crucially important for his entire species," zoo curator Laura Bottaro wrote in the zoo's blog.
Staff members who were present at his birth shared memories of that day on the zoo's blog.
Rupert's subspecies of rhino, the Greater One-Horned rhino, is a rare success story among modern conservation efforts. Strict protections in India have resulted in the species being moved from endangered to vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation.
Rhinos in Africa remain under immense threat from poachers and have seen their numbers decline rapidly in recent years.