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Zoo forms team of rhino experts to help save the species

<i>Cincinnati Zoo/WLWT</i><br/>The Cincinnati Zoo is forming a team of rhinoceros experts to help save the species.
Cincinnati Zoo/WLWT
Cincinnati Zoo/WLWT
The Cincinnati Zoo is forming a team of rhinoceros experts to help save the species.

By WLWT Staff

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    CINCINNATI (WLWT) — The Cincinnati Zoo is forming a team of rhinoceros experts to help save the species.

The zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife is teaming up with five research facilities to form the American Institute of Rhinoceros Science.

The initiative was made possible by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The five research facilities include The Wilds, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, George Mason University, the South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction & Conservation, and South Africa-based Stellenbosch University. The team will focus on the high-priority research needs of rhinos in accredited facilities that were identified by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Rhinoceros Research Council in 2019.

“By bringing together a diverse team of the brightest minds in rhino science, I am confident that we can overcome the challenges to sustaining thriving rhino populations within our nation’s zoos,” Dr. Terri Roth, vice president of conservation and science and director of the Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife, said in a statement.

The priorities of the alliance include physical fitness and its relation to health, iron storage in browsing rhinos, reproductive success and behavioral and environmental factors that can maximize rhino well-being.

“The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) applauds the commitment and efforts of these individuals and organizations working to save the five species of rhinos,” International Rhino Foundation Executive Director Nina Fascione said in a statement. “Furthering the understanding of these magnificent animals is essential to their survival, and we look forward to applying the knowledge gained to populations in the wild for the benefit of future generations.”

American Institute of Rhinoceros Science aims to provide affordable and feasible management recommendations to veterinarians and animal care staff at the 74 Association of Zoos and Aquarium facilities caring for rhinos.

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