New Rhinoceros at Toledo Zoo
TOLEDO, Ohio — Swaagat, Aashish (ah-sheesh). Welcome, Aashish. The Zoo is excited to introduce a new three and a half-year-old male Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) as its newest resident. Aashish arrived today from his birthplace, The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio, as part of a Species Survival Plan recommended move. He is currently being quarantined on exhibit in Tembo Trail while he is viewable to the public. Indian rhinoceros, also known as greater one-horned rhinos, are native to India and Nepal. They are 10 – 12 ½ feet in length, stand about six feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 4,000 – 6,000 pounds. Their trademark horn can be 8 - 24 inches long. They have a prehensile or gripping lip to eat grass, fruit and even farm crops. Indian rhinos forage in the morning and retreat to wallows in the afternoon to beat the heat. Unlike rhinos from Africa, Indian rhinos can tolerate colder temperatures, have only one horn and segmented skin that looks like armor. They are grayish brown in color, hairless and can charge at up to 30 miles per hour. Indian rhinos are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Vulnerable with a wild population of less than 3,000 animals. The main threat to Indian rhinoceros is poaching for their horn. Rhinoceros horns are made of keratin, just like human fingernails, and are used in traditional Chinese medicine and considered a prized decoration in Africa and the Middle East. Thankfully, wild Indian rhino populations are strictly protected by the federal governments of India and Nepal and are currently increasing. “We are thrilled to have rhinoceros back at the Zoo. The addition of Aashish is quite exciting, as he is much younger and more active than our previous rhinos. We are looking forward to him utilizing the moat and guests having a much more intimate experience with this massive creature. Additionally, a different species of rhino makes for a new and educational experience for both our staff and guests,” said Michael Frushour, the Zoo’s curator of mammals. Swaagat, Aashish. Welcome, Aashish!
Press Release Contact Name: Kim Haddix
Press Release Contact Email: kim.haddix@Toledozoo.org
Press Release Contact Phone: 419-385-5721 ext. 2145
Organization Name: The Toledo Zoo and Aquarium