Celebrating World Rhino Day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020, is World Rhino Day!

KUSI’s Allie Wagner visited the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to learn more about the endangered species as the world prepares to celebrate their uniqueness.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park supplied KUSI News with the following information about their rhinos as they prepare to celebrate World Rhino Day:

Black rhinos and white rhinos are the same color—a brownish gray! Both live in eastern and southern Africa but eat different foods. The wide mouth of the white rhino is perfect for grazing on grasses. The more narrow, prehensile lip of the black rhino is great for pulling leaves and shrubs into its mouth.

Other names used for these two species are broad-lipped and hook-lipped. Guess which name belongs to which rhino.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species lists black rhinos as Critically Endangered and southern white rhinos as Near Threatened. Northern white rhinos are extinct in the wild, and only two adult females are left on Earth.

Of the five rhino species, the white rhino is the largest: it can weigh 5,000 pounds (2,300 kilograms). A group of rhinos is called a crash. It’s fitting for this large, ponderous animal that can crash through just about anything in its way! The Safari Park has the largest crash of rhinos and the most successful captive breeding program for rhinos anywhere in the world.

Many people describe these rhinos as armor-plated, but they are just covered with a layer of skin that has many folds. Greater one-horned rhinos are native to the humid, swampy areas of Northeast India and Nepal.

All rhinos enjoy a good soak in the mud. But for greater one-horned rhinos, this helps them get through times of high humidity, when insects can be a problem. Plus, that cool mud feels so good! Rhinos may often share a wallowing spot without any fighting, as if it’s neutral ground.

Greater one-horned rhinos were among the original animal species at the Safari Park when it opened to the public in 1972. The species is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Today, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has the largest crash of rhinos and the most successful managed-care breeding program for rhinos anywhere in the world.

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