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Jaali, Potter Park Zoo’s Black Rhino Calf, will be going to a new home this fall

(Potter Park Zoo)
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 10:34 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Jaali, the first black rhino calf in Potter Park’s 100-year history, will be heading to a new home this fall.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) black rhino Species Survival Program (SSP) has announced that Jaali will be paired with a young female for breeding at his new facility, although where he will be going is currently uncertain.

Jaali’s mother Doppsee and father Phineus met in October 2017 after a breeding recommendation from the SSP. The introduction was a success, and the two would breed multiple times over the following year. From inception to birth, Jaali’s success was owed to years of preparation and collaboration with rhino and veterinary experts from around the country, and his transition to a new facility is only a continuation of his success story.

In the years since his birth, Jaali has gained fans from around the world and brought the plight of his species to an ever-larger audience.

“The reception to Jaali has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are thankful so many people were able to follow and connect with his story,” said Zoo Director Cindy Wagner.

Despite Jaali’s departure, Potter Park Zoo may soon be getting another black rhino, the SSP has announced that Doppsee and Phineus are ready to try for a second calf.

Jaali’s birth was not only a landmark for Potter Park, but a victory for this endangered species and its uncertain future. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) there are only 5,000 black rhinos remaining in the wild, and only about 60 at AZA-accredited zoos in the United States.

“Jaali was a joy to work with, and it’s been a privilege watching him learn and grow”, said Hoofstock Area Lead Zookeeper Kim Hernandez. “Though we’ll all miss him greatly, we’re excited to see him off on his next adventure – we will enjoy this last summer with him!”

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