White rhinoceros born in Arizona for the 1st time in decades

Nov 26, 2023, 7:15 AM | Updated: Nov 27, 2023, 10:25 am

Masiki the baby Rhino with mom Zuri. (Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park photo)...

Masiki the baby Rhino with mom Zuri. (Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park photo)

(Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park photo)

PHOENIX — A white rhinoceros was born in Arizona for the first time in decades, according to officials from the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park.

The female white rhino calf, named Masiki (or Siki for short), was born Nov. 7 to her parents Zuri and Maoto and is in “excellent health.”

Her name can be translated to the word “mask” from multiple Bantu languages, which is a language family of about 600 languages that are spoken by the Bantu peoples of Central, Southern, Eastern and Southeast Africa.

“She was tough to monitor through ultrasound because her ears kept getting in the way and after she was born, her ears were one of the first things to move after birth,” Wildlife World’s rhino specialist Emily Kading said.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park, located in Litchfield Park, near Phoenix, started a rhino conservation breeding plan about a decade ago. The project brought in three unrelated female rhinos who were orphaned in South Africa. Wildlife World also acquired a once imported male rhino from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

“This is the most significant birth we’ve had in the history of our zoo,” Wildlife World’s president Kristy Hayden said. “This baby opens up a whole new bloodline that will play a key role in rhino conservation for decades to come.”

According to Wildlife World, the entire rhino population is at risk. At the start of the 20th Century, 500,000 rhinos roamed the wild. Today, around 27,000 rhinos live in Africa.

“I’m grateful Wildlife World had the resources and capabilities to import her mother Zuri from Africa, where she is no longer at risk of being killed by poachers, and to provide her and Maoto a natural environment to procreate,” Hayden said.

Wildlife World also works in collaboration with the American Institute of Rhinoceros Science (AIRS) to support rhino conservation efforts to improve genetic diversity and the fight against the extinction of rhinos.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

In this Sept. 30, 2011, file photo, solar panel installation continues at a rapid pace at the Mesqu...

Associated Press

Over 1 million Arizona customers to see rooftop solar fees increase

About 1.4 million customers in Arizona will be paying more for electricity now that regulators have approved a rate hike.

8 minutes ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Police investigating fatal hit-and-run collision in west Phoenix

Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run collision that killed a female pedestrian in west Phoenix.

2 hours ago


David Veenstra

Arizona gets $10.3M in federal funding to restore ecosystem

The U.S. Department of the Interior is investing $10.3 million to restore Arizona's lands and waters this year.

4 hours ago

(City of Glendale Photo)...

Police search for suspect after 2 people were shot in Glendale

Police are searching for a suspect who allegedly shot two people in Glendale early Saturday.

6 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Scottsdale Police Department)...

4 people stabbed during early-morning melee at Scottsdale bar

A suspect is in custody after four people were stabbed early Saturday during a violent altercation at a bar in Scottsdale.

8 hours ago

Paella featuring lobster tail, jumbo prawns, diver scallops, mussels, chorizo, arborio rice, Englis...

David Veenstra

Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale opens new restaurant Faro & Brag

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa opened its new restaurant, "Faro & Brag," in Scottsdale featuring modern cuisine and outdoor seating.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


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

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

White rhinoceros born in Arizona for the 1st time in decades