Potter Park hosting farewell party for Jaali
During Jaali’s two years in Lansing, he has drawn valuable attention to black rhino conservation.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The first black rhino ever born at Potter Park Zoo will be relocating to California and the zoo is hosting a party to bid him farewell.
Jaali was born in Lansing on December 25, 2019, a milestone event for the park as only 55 black rhinos are cared for at Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facilities with only 5,400 left in the wild.
In early 2021, it was announced that a breeding match for Jaali had been found by the AZA’s Species Survival Plan. A young female, from Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, will meet Jaali at their new home, The Living Desert Zoo, later this fall.
“Jaali’s captured all of our hearts over the past two years,” said Animal Care Supervisor Pat Fountain. “Not only are we excited for his future, but also for the continued black rhino breeding program at Potter Park Zoo.”
During Jaali’s two years in Lansing, he has drawn valuable attention to black rhino conservation, inspired staff, and visitors alike, and amassed thousands of fans, solidifying himself as a Lansing icon.
In December 2020, the Lansing Lugnuts announced a special Lansing Black Rhinos t-shirt would be sold in honor of Jaali’s first birthday. Half of the proceeds from shirt sales went to the zoo to aid their animal health program.
“We are incredibly grateful our community has embraced Jaali with such enthusiasm,” said Zoo Director Cindy Wagner. “While we will all miss Jaali, we also celebrate as he moves to The Living Desert Zoo where he will continue the growth of a genetically diverse population of rhinos in human care which is critical to the future of black rhinos.”
As Jaali prepares for his next chapter, Potter Park Zoo will be holding a going-away party on Oct. 2 and 3, providing fans a chance to reflect on his best moments and to see him in action one last time.
During the event, zookeepers will provide rhino enrichment every two hours, beginning at 10 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m.
Interactive education stations will also be available, as well as a special banner for guests to sign.
“Whether you’ve been following Jaali’s journey from the beginning or want to meet him for the first time, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for,” said Wagner.
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