Jaali, Potter Park Zoo’s Black Rhino makes California new home

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 LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Potter Park’s first black rhino calf, Jaali, has made the west coast his new home.

Zookeeper Ashleigh Winkelmann says Jaali’s departure was bittersweet, but the right thing to do.

“He’s going on to do something really great for his species. the whole point of him here is to increase the black rhino population.”

Jaali wasn’t alone on the way to his new home, he was joined with his new girlfriend Nia.

It’s estimated that there are only 5,400 black rhinos left in the wild. That’s why experts say maintaining a healthy breeding population is critical.

Zookeeper Adrianna Davidson started working with Jaali since he was born in December of 2019. In the zoo’s 100-year history there had never been a black rhino born. she says since day one they knew this moment would come.

“We knew that if we had a little one he would have to be shipped off eventually. and i’m just really excited to be a part of it. to help the species,” Davidson said.

Still like all the zookeepers who worked with him, Davidson says this farewell was tough.

“We’re all super excited for Jaali for him and this move, but we’re all really gonna miss him.”

Experts say they hope this effort will pay off for future generations.

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