Rare black rhinoceros makes stop at The Zoo

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Kenny Wilder
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:01 am

Published - February, 14, 2007
Pensacola News Journal


Rare black rhinoceros makes stop at The Zoo

Sean Dugas
sdugas@pnj.com


It took a little nudge to get Limpopo into his digs Tuesday at The Zoo Northwest Florida.

A little nudge with heavy equipment.

Staffers used a front-end loader to lift the 5,000-pound black rhinoceros -- in his metal crate -- from the back of a flatbed truck that brought him north from the Tampa area.

It seems Limpopo was not in the mood to go peacefully into his outdoor enclosure. Crews opted to put him directly in the indoor structure of his habitat.

"He is really nervous right now," said Natalie Akin, visitor services director. "He'll probably charge the first person he sees when we open that door."

After several minutes of jockeying with the rhino's crate, the front-end loader set him down facing his new bedroom -- a square, concrete-reinforced building.

Limpopo finally lurched out of the box, spun in a circle and ran toward the thick metal cross bars of the enclosure.

He struck one of the bars between his two horns as if trying to lift the bar with his massive head.

The ground trembled. The bars shook. Everyone took a step back.

"If he were to get out of this enclosure, there is nothing we have here that would stop him," Akin said. "He could go wherever he wanted to."

The 9-year-old rare rhino will be a guest of The Zoo for two to three months while his permanent home is being built at the Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard, Kan.

"Construction is almost complete, but we have been held up because of bad weather," said Jim Fauts, director of Tanganyika.

Zoo officials estimated there are about 2,500 black rhinos alive worldwide.
Kenny Wilder
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silverwings
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:48 am

yea when i saw its picture it looked well not very happy at all - so i said to its picture "at least you won't be killed for your horn or sport" sad state of affairs for rare wild life. we are currently caputuring wild life so they can breed and stay alive.
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keywester
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Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:20 am

thanks kenny... its a 3 day weekend and maybe i'll take the kids down to see them. 8)
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