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38th rhino born at Lion Country Safari helps conserve species

Josh, the second white rhino born at Lion Country Safari in 2021. He was born in November to mother Bloom.

Photo by Lion Country Safari

Josh the white rhino is the 38th rhinoceros born at Lion Country Safari and the second of 2021. The safari park has grown its white rhino population to 15, including Josh, born in November, and his 22-year-old mother, Bloom. The safari park has been a key player in the worldwide effort to conserve the white rhinoceros.

Rhinos are generally born between 88 and 132 pounds and gain approximately 1,000 pounds in the first three years of life. Josh and his mother live in the maternity area of the park, which can be seen by drive-through guests.

Josh is particularly special because his family line is underrepresented. Genetic diversity is important in captive breeding.

White rhinoceroses are the most abundant of the remaining rhinos, although their numbers are still small. Since the 1970s, the white rhino population has risen from fewer than 1,000 to approximately 20,000, largely because of conservation efforts in captivity and the wild.

White rhino Aziza, born in September, and her mother Anna at Lion Country Safari.

Photo by Lion Country Safari

Among the other kinds of rhinos, black, Javan and Sumatran rhinoceroses are classified as critically endangered, while the Indian rhinoceros, once critically endangered, is now considered vulnerable.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the total of all rhinoceroses was 500,000. Now fewer than 100 Sumatran and Javan rhinoceroses remain.

Many zoos have transformed from places to view wild animals to places to save them. Each classification of rhinoceros has a captivity program to keep the species alive.

Open since 1967, Lion Country Safari is a participant in the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The SSP keeps the white rhino population steady.

Lion Country Safari offers a cage-free, drive-through safari and an elaborate walk-through park spanning 320 acres in Palms West. Lion Country Safari focuses on sustainability efforts and the conservation and breeding of threatened species like rhinoceroses.


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