The Rhinos Have Arrived!
The opening of the new Assam Rhino Reserve this weekend marks the first time the species has been at the Seattle zoo.
Taj is a 17-month-old male rhino who just arrived at the Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo
Since the departure of Chai and Bamboo, the elephant enclosure at Woodland Park Zoo has stood empty, waiting for new inhabitants — until now. What was once home for the Asian elephants is now a home for the brand new Assam Rhino Reserve and two juvenile male rhinoceros. Taj and Glenn are both Greater One-Horned rhinos — the only one-horned rhino species out there (their scientific name is Rhinoceros unicornis!), and are newcomers to the zoo from San Diego and Ohio, respectively.
Taj, pronounced like Taj Mahal, means “crown” or “jewel” in Hindi. He was born Nov. 10, 2016 at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Glenn was born a day later on Nov. 11, 2016 at The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in Cumberland, Ohio, and operated by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Rhinos are very social in their youth, and since both are still juveniles (Taj weighs about 1700 pounds, but will probably gain another 3,000 pounds before he is full grown!), they should be able to live happily together for several years before they will want to separate from each other. Adult male rhinos fly solo in the wild.
Rhinos are also iconic symbols of the wildlife trafficking crisis. The exhibit will highlight the amazing adaptations of these species and bring to life the impact of poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.
Guests can expect to see many natural behaviors in the rhino habitat. Greater one-horned rhinos are a water-loving species, and will often be seen wallowing in the mud, grazing on land, immersing in their shallow pool, and nibbling on aquatic plants along the edge of the pool.
For an additional fee, Rhino Encounters, offered 1:30–2:30 daily (except Mondays) throughout the summer, will allow guests to get up close and personal with Taj and Glenn and learn from keepers about the daily rhino care program and how they can help save rhinos in the wild.
The new exhibit is also home to Demoiselle cranes and Asian brown tortoises.
The Assam Rhino Reserve opens to the public this weekend, Saturday, May 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Grand-opening day activities will include rhino keeper talks, free rhino stickers, a new costumed rhino mascot, raptor flight programs, and a variety of animal-care keeper talks and activities throughout the zoo and in Zoomazium.
Welcome to Seattle, boys!