Taj the rhino is the first of two the zoo will showcase in a new exhibit, which opens May 5.
For the first time, a rhinoceros is living at the Woodland Park Zoo.
Taj, a male greater one-horned rhino, arrived last Friday at the zoo after a two-day trip from San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where he was born 17 months ago.
The rhino is the first of two expected to be featured at the zoo’s new special exhibit, Assam Rhino Reserve, opening May 5.
Joining Taj soon will be another male, Glenn. He was born a day after his future companion on Nov. 11, 2016, at The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in Cumberland, Ohio, and operated by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Most Read Local Stories
- Seattle's weekend of violence stretched police thin, chief says
- State Court of Appeals rules Seattle’s wealth tax is unconstitutional, but gives cities new leeway
- Armed man attacking Tacoma's ICE detention center killed in officer-involved shooting
- Driver hits 7-year-old on sidewalk, crashes into power pole in Magnolia
- With sobering center closed, King County is dropping homeless people off in ERs to sleep
The rhinos weigh about 1,500 each and are expected to reach as much as 5,000 pounds when fully grown.
Assam Rhino Reserve will showcase the greater one-horned rhinos, Asian brown tortoises and demoiselle cranes.
“Rhinos are iconic symbols of the wildlife trafficking crisis. The exhibit will highlight the amazing adaptations of these three species and bring to life the impact of poaching, the illegal wildlife trade and the turtle extinction crisis,” the zoo said in a statement.
The zoo says five species of rhinos survive today: black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan. Over the past 200 years, the global rhino population has dropped from 1 million to fewer than 30,000.
The greater one-horned rhino, also known as the Indian rhino, is second in size only to African white rhinos, according to the zoo.
“It has a single horn that is about 8 to 25 inches long; a gray-brown hide with skin folds gives it an armor-plated appearance,” the zoo says. “Once found across the entire northern part of the Indian subcontinent, the population rapidly declined to fewer than 200 in the 20th century due to sport hunting, human conflict, poaching for their horns for use in traditional medicine and habitat loss.”
It’s believed that the population has recovered to an estimated 3,600 today.
The zoo says visitors can expect to see Glenn and Taj “wallowing in mud, grazing on land, immersing in a shallow pool and nibbling on aquatic plants along the edge of the pool.”