The Niabi Zoo is kicking off its fundraising campaign to bring southern white rhinos the Quad Cities community.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to bring such an iconic mega vertebrate to the Quad Cities Community, and play a real role in their ongoing conservation efforts,” said zoo Director Lee Jackson. “This will be the first time that this or any rhinoceros’ species will have been kept at Niabi, and we are beyond excited to be able to share these magnificent animals with our community. We hope to have the animals here by early summer of 2021, but there is still much to do in order to get ready. The rhinos new home will be in the existing Bactrian camel area. The camels will be moved to a new area of the zoo. We have to make extensive modifications to both the new rhino exhibit and the new Bactrian camel area, but we are confident that with the communities help we can get it done. We are looking to raise $100,000 and have already received some donations towards the project.”
In the early 1900s, there were fewer than 50 southern white rhinos left in existence. Today, thanks to conservation efforts in zoos and in the wild, the population now sits at about 18,000.
Their cousins, the northern white rhino and western black rhino, became extinct in 2018 and 2011, respectively.
To find out more visit www.niabizoo.com and look for the “donate” button.