Woodland Park Zoo now has its first-ever rhino. Taj, a 17-month-old male greater one-horned rhino, arrived on Friday after a two-day road trip from San Diego.
A second male, Glenn, is coming soon from Ohio (he was named for the late astronaut and Senator John Glenn).
The rhinos will live in the zoo’s new Assam Rhino Reserve, along with Asian brown tortoises and demoiselle cranes. The Reserve opens to the public May 5.
Both Taj and Glenn weigh about 1,500 each now, but will eventually grow to between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds each.
Five species of rhinos survive today: black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan. In the last 200 years, the rhino population has plummeted from one million to fewer than 30,000 worldwide.
Also known as the Indian rhino, the greater one-horned is second in size only to African white rhinos. 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. 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. According to the International Rhino Foundation, the population has recovered today to an estimated 3,600 thanks to conservation efforts and strict protection from Indian and Nepalese wildlife authorities and collaborative efforts of NGOs.