Posted December 2021
The Zoo’s black rhino, Jozi, transferred to the Oregon Zoo at the end of October 2021. At 9 years old, Jozi is of breeding age, and per the Black Rhino Species Survival Plan (SSP®), she was recommended to move to the Oregon Zoo for breeding. At the Oregon Zoo, Jozi will be paired with an 8-year-old male rhino, King, who transferred ahead of her from the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Jozi was born at the Pittsburgh Zoo in 2012 and arrived at MCZ in 2016.
Jozi and King will continue to live apart for the time being, but they’ve had visual access to each other and seemed very curious.
Jozi and King will join the Oregon Zoo’s recently completed exhibit, Rhino Ridge. Prior to King arriving in Oregon, the zoo did not have rhinos in its population. The Zoo reports that Jozi is out of quarantine and doing well in her new habitat. (Quarantine is a routine process for all incoming animals to ensure they are in good health.)
A new Rhino Exhibit will be constructed at the Milwaukee County Zoo in the coming years; rhinos will then be re-acquisitioned into the population. Jozi and King belong to the eastern subspecies of black rhinoceros, which is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). In 2011, the western subspecies of black rhino was declared extinct.
Both the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Oregon Zoo are accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA), and adhere to strict guidelines for breeding within their populations, to further genetic variations of animal species.