BENEFITING: POTTER PARK ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Potter Park Zoo will soon be home to 9-year-old Phineus, a male eastern black rhino.
Potter Park Zoo’s mission is to inspire people to conserve animals in the natural world. As part of this commitment zoo staff participates in fund raising efforts and research projects that benefit the rhino. Poaching has had a devastating effect and has directly caused the black rhino to be critically endangered.
Potter Park Zoo team members understand the urgency of this situation and the zoo participates in the Black Rhino Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). This program keeps records of all rhinos in AZA accredited facilities and advises zoos on breeding plans for each species.
Phineus, from the Caldwell Zoo, and Potter Park Zoo’s current black rhino resident, 9-year-old Doppsee, were selected as a potential breeding pair as part of the SSP.
Having a breeding pair of black rhinos is a unique opportunity for Potter Park Zoo and the Lansing community.
Transport of a black rhino takes a tremendous amount of coordination. Potter Park Zoo borrowed a crate from Cleveland Metro Park Zoo and had it shipped to the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, Texas where 2,700 lb. Phineus is currently housed. He is being trained to go into the crate and when the training is completed he will be transported more than 1,000 miles to his new home in Lansing. This will be handled by a company that specializes in transporting zoo animals and he will be in an enclosed temperature controlled vehicle for the duration of the drive. The total cost of the shipping will be around $10,000.