ARIZONA NEWS

Rare rhino sent to Wildlife World Zoo in West Valley for breeding program

Mar 29, 2021, 4:15 AM | Updated: 12:11 pm

Three female rhinos and the new male White Rhino (Courtesy photo/Wildlife World Zoo)...

Three female rhinos and the new male White Rhino (Courtesy photo/Wildlife World Zoo)

(Courtesy photo/Wildlife World Zoo)

PHOENIX — The Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park in Litchfield Park has welcomed a new guest – a massive male White Rhino named Maoto.

The rhino comes from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to kick off a breeding program that is set to bring in completely new blood lines to improve genetic diversity for managed populations of the species, the zoo said in a press release.

As part of a dedication to rhino conservation, Wildlife World Zoo has been consulting, researching and planning the innovative breeding program to help fight against the extinction of the species. The program is part of the zoo’s rhino facility that opened in early 2018.

“This breeding program has been nearly a decade in the making and it feels great to know that everyone’s hard work has finally paid off,” Kristy Morcom, Wildlife World Zoo’s director of media relations, said in the release. “We are all so excited to be entering the next phase, which is welcoming baby rhinos that will become the front runners in saving their species.”

The rhino population has fallen to only 29,000 in the wild, down from 500,000 at the start of the 20th century, according to the release.

The five living rhino species (Black, White, Greater One-Horned, Sumatran and Javan) are in danger from poaching, forest loss and human settlements encroaching on their habitats in Africa, Indonesia and India. The Western Black Rhino – a subspecies of the Black Rhino – was already declared extinct in 2011 due to poaching.

Poachers kill the rhinos for the animal’s horn, which is sold on the black market, according to the release.

“It’s immensely rewarding to know that Wildlife World had the resources and capabilities to import our female rhinos from Africa where they are no longer at risk of being slaughtered by poachers and provide them and Maoto a natural environment to procreate,” Morcom said.

The rhino joins the more than 6,000 animals on display at the zoo made up of over 600 species, according to the release, with keepers and veterinarians raising dozens of wild and endangered animals since opening the 100-acre park 36 years ago.

Wildlife World Zoo at 16501 W. Northern Ave. is open seven days a week, including all holidays. The exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with the last zoo admission for the day occurring at 4:30 p.m.

Admission includes access to the zoo, aquarium (which is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and safari park.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Smoke rises from the smoldering Range Fire near Florence, Arizona....

KTAR.com

Arizona’s Range Fire mostly contained after burning more than 1,000 acres over weekend

The Range Fire, a wildfire that burned through more than 1,000 acres in Arizona over the weekend, was mostly contained by Sunday night, authorities said.

2 hours ago

Scorpions and spiders a bigger threat to Arizonans as temps rise...

Serena O'Sullivan

Creepy-crawly alert: Valley poison control center warns about scorpion and spider season

The Banner Poison Control Center warned Arizonans to keep an eye out for scorpions and spiders as temperatures rise.

4 hours ago

Vasectomies now available at Planned Parenthood's Phoenix clinic...

Serena O'Sullivan

Planned Parenthood now offering vasectomy services in Phoenix

The demand for vasectomies spiked after the Arizona Supreme Court reinstated the 1864 abortion law earlier this month.

4 hours ago

File photo of workers in a copper mine. A mining exploration company could establish a copper mine ...

Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Copper mining company has eyes on massive Casa Grande site

Ivanhoe Electric Inc., a mining exploration company, could establish a copper mine at a massive site south of metro Phoenix.

5 hours ago

The two men killed in the crash were both from India and were both 19-years-old, according to Peori...

KTAR.com

2 dead, 2 more hospitalized after crash in Peoria near Lake Pleasant

Two people were killed and two others were hospitalized in a head-on collision in Peoria, near Lake Pleasant, on Saturday night.

12 hours ago

Phoenix experienced its first 100-degree day of the year on April 21, 2024. The daily average tempe...

KTAR.com

Phoenix records first 100-degree day of 2024

After a wet and cool start to the year, Phoenix experienced its first 100-degree day of the year on Sunday.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Rare rhino sent to Wildlife World Zoo in West Valley for breeding program