We are excited to have welcomed 16-year-old Frankie to our crash—or group of rhinos—earlier this month. The southern white rhinoceros weighed in at a whopping 5,200 pounds!
Frankie made a big appearance after being transported into the Zoo on a massive trailer provided by Four C’s Nursery. The rhino came to us from a private facility in central Florida.
Having sired five calves, Frankie is part of the white rhino Species Survival Plan breeding program with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. His genetics were determined to be a good match with our two female white rhinos, Uzuri and Kibibi. Male Howard will alternate being visible to guests with Frankie.
You can visit Frankie in the upcoming weeks when he joins the crash in Expedition Africa. Our newest member is known for his gentle attitude toward keepers and loves interacting with enrichment.
Southern white rhinos were thought to be extinct in the late 19th century, but after over a hundred years of protection and management, the species is now classified as “near threatened.” The main threats to rhinos include habitat loss and human hunting. Rhinos are often hunted for their horns, which are composed mainly of keratin, the same protein that makes up our hair and fingernails. The horns are often sought out by poachers due to the false belief that they have medicinal value.
Learn what you can do to help rhinos here.