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Guest blogger: Crissi Lanier, Interpretive Media Intern
There are five species of rhinos in the world – Javan, Indian, Sumatran, Black & White. Three of these species, Indian, Black and Sumatran, reside here at the Cincinnati Zoo. Do you know how to identify them and where to find them? If not, read on and test your rhino knowledge on #WorldRhinoDay this Sunday, September 22.
Sumatran Rhino: Our sibling Sumatran rhinos, Harapan & Suci, have been in the news lately because they are the only two of their kind in North America and, as such, are key to the survival of this critically-endangered species. They are in neighboring enclosures in Wildlife Canyon, where you can see them doing their favorite thing — getting muddy!
The Sumatran rhino’s most distinguishing feature is the reddish-brown hair that covers most of its body. It’s the smallest of all rhino species, standing about 4-feet high at the shoulder and weighs about 1,500–1,800 lbs. Like both African species, it has two horns.
To read more about the Sumatran Rhinos from past blogs click here.
Black Rhino: Our female black rhino, Seyia, is new to the Zoo and getting used to her surroundings in the Veldt. She will make her public debut soon. Her predecessor, Klyde, was transferred to the Sedgwick County Zoo for breeding a few months ago. Learn more about the crate training that made Klyde’s move smooth.
Although this rhino is referred to as black, its colors vary from brown to gray. The black rhino is also referred to as the hook-lipped rhinoceros because of its prehensile upper lip. It has two horns but can sometimes develop a third.
Indian Rhino: We have two female Indian rhinos, Nikki and Manjula. They are in separate enclosures in our Veldt, with Nikki often found lounging in her pool and Manjula making appearances when she feels like it!
The Indian rhino, also called the greater one-horned rhinoceros and Indian one-horned rhinoceros, has only one horn! Nikki’s is a bit worn down because she likes to rub it on trees and rocks. This heavily built species can weigh up to 8,000 lbs and has thick, silver-brown skin, and very little body hair. Its upper legs and shoulders are covered in wart-like bumps.
*Sumatran rhinos are considered Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are native to Sumatra (Indonesia), Borneo and Malay Peninsula.
*Black rhinos are considered Critically Endangered by the IUCN. They are found in various parts of central and southern Africa.
*Indian rhinos are considered Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are found in Nepal and India.
All of these rhinos need our help to survive for future generations. You can A.D.O.P.T. them to help aid in their daily care and enrichment, visit the Zoo on #WorldRhinoDay, talk to volunteers at the CREW stands about current research and more.
September 17, 2013 No Comments
Klyde’s crate training was a success! He walked right in this morning and is now safely on his way to Sedgwick County Zoo.
Klyde’s two main keepers, Marjorie and Randy, will be accompanying him on the drive to his new home, where he will get to meet his new girlfriend and keepers. They are not willing to let him go it alone. They will also have the opportunity to teach the keepers that will be working with him all of his behaviors and favorite foods, toys, and treats. Even though this is going to be a HUGE transition, Marge and Randy are making it as smooth going as possible.
Last week had ups and downs for Klyde and the staff in the Veldt. Klyde went from many good days in a row to having a few days that set him back. When an animal get set back, you have to return to the stage that they are willing to work with you and then move forward again. Usually the progress is a faster progress than the first time, at least that’s what most trainers bank on!
Little things could have set Klyde back, from someone starting a blower on the path way below him, as he first enters the crate in the morning, to a cart driving by. New noises, smells, and sometimes the unknown will make an animal decide that something it has been doing reliably for days is no longer alright. When you are training animals, patience is a virtue and a requirement.
When Marge let me know that Klyde was starting to regress, we talked about the pros and cons of how to move forward. We decided to go back to plan A and back to when he was successfully coming in and comfortably staying in. Instead of adding people to the outside making noise around the crate, something he will have to deal with, once he is in the crate for his move, we decided it would be more beneficial to get him used to someone standing on top of the crate, as this will be imperative to shutting the back door of his crate.
Many days were spent getting Klyde comfortable again with coming in, including allowing him access at night. Once he was back on track we added a piece of plywood to the top of his enclosure so someone could stand on it, and not totally scare him. Then we had one keeper go up top, before Klyde had access to the crate area, and a second keeper called him in. This way Klyde was able to get used to hearing a voice from above him as well.
All of this work resulted in a smooth transition into the crate. Bye Klyde! We will miss you.
May 20, 2013 2 Comments
Klyde’s crate conditioning is going very well! Since my previous post, keepers have continued to work with him daily. To start, each evening they would close off access into the crate, giving Klyde a break from seeing it through the night. Then, in the morning, they would re-open it and he would find it contained his breakfast and extra treats. Each day keepers moved more and more of his breakfast into the crate, creating an inviting space that allowed Klyde to feel comfortable and confident. After several days, everyone felt they were at a point when no food needed to be offered in his other stalls except for in his crate. This was no issue for Klyde, as every crate experience he has had thus far has been very positive. He had no problem with his new designated feeding area. Each morning the food would appear an inch further back in the crate, from the day before. And every day, Klyde never even thought twice about his advancement into the crate.
By day nine, keeper Marjorie was able to stand outside the crate, toward the front and encourage him to come in as she tossed treats into his food pile to make every inch of progress as smooth as possible. Days 10 and 11 were breakthrough days for Klyde’s progress – he decided that his crate was really positive place to be and confidently walked in until he had all four feet in the crate! He was still not quite close enough to hand feed but having all four feet in, making that step up into the crate was a HUGE progression and his keepers were thrilled. Later on day 11 of training Marjorie decided to try one more quick session and attempted to get Klyde to walk in far enough to hand feed. He finally did it!! Marjorie was able to reach his lip and give him some of his favorite cookies for entering that far.
We are all so excited about Klyde’s progress moving forward! In the first 11 days of training it has gone far better than ever expected, but that’s what happens when keepers and animals have such a wonderful and positive relationship! Klyde is willing and wanting to work with his keepers and his keepers are allowing him to move at his comfort level… setting him up for success is the most important part of training!
May 8, 2013 No Comments