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Rhino Breeding Success

In May 2019, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announced plans for a significant expansion of the rhino habitat. The project plan includes an additional outdoor rhino yard that will more than double the size of the Zoo’s current habitat for its Eastern black rhino herd of five.

The need for more space is a result of the Zoo’s very successful Eastern black rhino breeding program.

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Inge and male Forrest

In 1997, cooperation between the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the Cleveland Zoological Society, Addo Elephant Park and the South African government allowed two Eastern black rhinos to be sent to American zoos. Inge, one of those two, arrived in Cleveland after much negotiation, planning and travel. Because she came from Africa, Inge’s genetics were very desirable to strengthen the genetic diversity of rhinos in North American zoos.

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Kibibbi and calf Lulu

In 2003, Inge had a calf named Kibibbi, who is still in Cleveland. Kibibbi had a calf, Lulu, in 2018. Soon after Lulu’s birth, Inge had another female calf, Nia. The current male rhino at the Zoo is Forrest, who is the father of both Lulu and Nia. The expansion will better equip the Zoo to protect and provide for our rhino herd of five and future herds.

“Cleveland Metroparks has had tremendous success in breeding critically endangered Eastern black rhinos including the birth of two rhino calves in 2018,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Dr. Chris Kuhar, Ph.D. “This expansion will better equip us to care for our rhino herd as we work to protect one of the world’s most critically endangered species."

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Current black rhino habitat before expansion

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