Record Breaking White Rhinos Born In Ohio

In the UK at Chester Station and thereabouts,  Rhino Mania was a street art project in 2010. This is Submission Number One -  Elvis Rhino. Artist: Martin Band.
In the UK at Chester Station and thereabouts, Rhino Mania was a street art project in 2010. This is Submission Number One - Elvis Rhino. Artist: Martin Band. | Source

White Rhino Resurgence

The White Rhino is in the Near Threatened status, according to the World Wildlife Fund, with about 99% of our 20,400+ individuals living in only four nations on earth: Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The State of Ohio helps make USA a fifth nation in which to find the white rhino.

A century ago, we had few white rhinos on the planet, but today, we have stopped many poachers and bred additional individuals across the planet in 60 zoos and wildlife refuges that are partners with the International Rhinoceros Foundation/IRF.

In Ohio, three zoos are partnered with IRF, including zoos in Cincinnati and Cleveland as well as The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium/The Wilds complex in the Central and Southeastern parts of the state. These three zoos lie roughly along the old 3-C Highway and Ohioans are still hoping for a new passenger rail system to connect them once again.

Our friends at the Detroit Zoo also partner with IRF, as does one zoo in Canada - The Toronto Zoo. Many US states are home to more than one zoo or park that is working with IRF and many are contributing to the ongoing survival of the last five species of rhinoceros left in the world.

World Rhino Day is September 22.

World Recognition for Wildlife Preservation in Ohio

Recognized in 2012 for predominating conservation activities by the AZA or Association of Zoos and Aquariums, The Wilds is a very important part of rhino conservation and preservation. Together, the Columbus Zoo and The Wilds fund 24 separate programs for preserving 1) global wildlife and 2) native prairie plants of North America, as well as community projects in Africa, including the arts.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium takes care of a group of black rhinos, while The Wilds to the east has a small herd of white rhinos, which are record breakers of a sort -- At least 16 rhinos were born there and still live there. Five generations of white rhinos have been born at The Wilds, with the first individual of the fourth generation, tracked worldwide, and born in Ohio in 2009, outside of their native Africa.

The latest new white rhino birth occurred on November 12, 2014, making the male infant the first of the fifth generation of white rhinos tracked at present. His mother is Anan, the Number One white rhino in the fourth generation.

Central Ohio Wildlife Preservation and Breeding Programs

show route and directions
A markerThe Wilds -
14000 International Road, Cumberland, OH 43732, USA
[get directions]

B markerThe Columbus Zoo -
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 9990 Riverside Drive, Powell, OH 43065, USA
[get directions]

The Wilds Wildlife and Native Plants Conservation Park

The park is a great place, partially because it has put to good use 10,000 acres of reclaimed surface mining land in southeastern Ohio. One of my great uncles was a coal miner there for many years and I think he would be pleased.

Education programs have been offered to the public ever since the beginning of the park. Today, children from lower-income counties in Southeastern Ohio are brought to the facility on scholarship funds as part of science learning in their schools and homeschool experiences.

The land was replanted with native flora and incorporated as a nonprofit entity in 1984 with the help of Jack Hanna and other wildlife activists. The land came from the Central Ohio Coal Company (Part of American Electric Power/AEP) and today, the visitor's center is heated with geothermal energy. AEP also donates the energy for the Columbus Zoo's Wildlights nighttime visitors' program from November through early January every year. Energy production of all kinds is increasing in Ohio. Continuing a theme of sustainability, The Wilds began a successful vegetable and herb garden in 2010.

Today, the park is a metropolis of animal care, but is not an amusement park. Everything here is for the animals and the visitors and students that want to see them. Of course, the 10 zip lines throughout the park may be looked on as an amusement ride, but riders surely see a lot of animals on the way across.

The first animals brought to The Wilds were a herd of Przewalski’s Wild Horses in 1992, followed by a Baringo giraffe breeding program. A 12-acre butterfly habitat opened to the public in 2004, the year that the first white rhinoceros was born at the facility.

The wild horses mentioned above were once declared extinct, but those born in captivity have been successful seeded back into Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan, according to the National Zoo. Conservation efforts do work.

Przewalski’s Wild Horse in the State Emblem of Mongolia

Source

Przewalski’s Wild Horse is simply "spirit" or wind horse in the Mongolian tongue. Never tamed for riding, it represents the spirit and independence of the people.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
White RhinosPrzewalski's Wild Horses; first animals at The Wilds.Baringo Giraffe
White Rhinos
White Rhinos | Source
Przewalski's Wild Horses; first animals at The Wilds.
Przewalski's Wild Horses; first animals at The Wilds. | Source
Baringo Giraffe
Baringo Giraffe | Source

Rhinos in History

White Rhinos. These creatures are the largest of the rhinos and can stand as tall at 6 feet and weigh as much as 8,000 pounds (four tons), all the while looking vaguely prehistoric. As a child, I felt that they were descended from the Triceratops. I still wonder if the Triceratops, indigenous only to North America, was not a mammal instead of a great lizard.

White, black, and greater one-horned rhinos have been brought back from near extinction. Two more species also have hope: Javan and Sumatran, of which in 2014 there are about 50 and 100, respectively.

Both white and black rhinoceroses are gray in color. White, then, does not mean the color white in this animal case. Most published researchers feel that white or weit means "wide" in the Afrikaan spoken in South Africa and refers to the width of the jaw and lip.

The species is in a near-threatened status because of poachers who cut off the rhino horns for potions that can be sold at high dollar amounts to ineffectively treat anything from arthritis to warts. In a Chinese medicine shop in Manhattan in the late 1980s, I saw powdered white and black rhino horn sold as aphrodisiacs.

In Africa, one conservation effort is to cut off rhino horns above the lips so as not to cause bleeding, leaving the poachers with nothing to steal.

Poaching, the illegal hunt, involves cutting off the rhino horn close to the head and leaving the animal to bleed to death. If caught, yet failing to surrender, poachers die by rifle fire from rangers. We then have dead poachers, dead animals, and useless horns.

Coloring Page - Print and Color

Source

Some Additional Animals at The Wilds

  • African Painted Dog
  • American Bison
  • American Burying Beetles
  • Asiatic Wild Dog (Dholes)
  • Bactrian Camel and Deer
  • Banteng - A bovine. Endangered, but a small new herd was found in Cambodia in mid-2014.
  • Central Chinese Goral
  • Cheetahs - Endangered. Born in captivity, they are often raised with large dogs to develop confidence.
  • Giraffe
  • Greater One-Horned or Indian Rhinoceros (black rhinos live at the Columbus Zoo)
  • Grevy's Zebra
  • Elands
  • Eastern Hellbender - A reptile also called the Allegheny Alligator. Its health and conservation status was studied at much length before it was brought to The Wilds for preservation work.
  • A number of Fish species for Fishing Safaris
  • Freshwater Mussels -- Nearly 70% of the many species of freshwater mussels in America are threatened or endangered.
  • Ostriches
  • Persian Onager - Native to two areas of Iran. Related to the donkey and in a breeding program to prevent extinction (Conservation Centers for Species Survival, with only five members).
  • Sichuan Takin - A bovine, this animal is featured on the solar powered Speedwell Conservation Carousel ride at the National Zoo of the Smithsonian.
  • Trumpeter Swans

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A female and a male Ostrich.TakinBatengHellbenderAfrican Painted Dog
A female and a male Ostrich.
A female and a male Ostrich. | Source
Takin
Takin
Bateng
Bateng
Hellbender
Hellbender
African Painted Dog
African Painted Dog

Take A Vacation Safari without a Gun

The park is well known for breeding endangered and threatened animals to preserve the species. It is well known for its animal viewing tours as well, which can be enjoyed all through the year, even in winter. Overnight experiences are offered in warmer weather. Evening tours happen after a meal in the on-site cafe or restaurant.

The park even has two lodges, so tourists can feel they are on an old-time Hemingway safari - minus the guns.

Winter tours in enclosed vehicles are more expensive than spring or summer tours, but discounts and special packages are offered. In warmer weather May through October, a tour can be had at $20 - free to military personnel. Compare this to the $51USD cost to see the Australia Zoo and you can see the value in Ohio.

November 2014 -- The Dallas Texas Safari Club auctioned off a permit to hunt a Critically Endangered Black Rhinoceros in Africa for $350,000. The winner applied to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for another permit, this one to return to America with the dead animal as a trophy. He may not receive that permit.

Raising Funds for Rhino Conservation by Killing a Rhino

The Dallas Hunting Club in Texas auctioned off a permit in mid-2013 to hunt and kill one black rhino in Namibia, Africa. The black rhino is still a Critically Endangered animal and the auction money was given to a rhinoceros conservation fund. Some find this unacceptable.

Namibian national officials allow five black rhino hunting permits ever year, the money for them going to fund conservation programs. The policy seems counter intuitive, but perhaps it works if the rhino permits all bring in $200K - $300K each and he money is applied effectively.

The 2013 auction winner, who received death threats over winning the prize, is a big wig with The Hunting Consortium, which sells big game hunting tours in 54 counties for many thousands of dollars each.

I may be fine with hunting for food and clothing, but not with sport hunting, even if the kill is fast and clean. I object to throwing away the animal except for the skin and head. However, to their credit, some of the hunters on these vacation tours help bring in meat for starving villages. They are not required to do so.

In Ohio, extreme hunting is such a power-proving sport that if one cannot kill a deer or a turkey, one can rent a dead animal with which to take a photo for a holiday card announcing that he did, in fact, kill the animal. I'm glad that we cannot rent a dead rhino.

Source

More by this Author


Comments 10 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

Hi Patty,

What an interesting hub about the White Rhino, and I had no clue exactly what the "white" meant until I read it here. Oh, I do hope they are not permitted to kill that endangered Rhino for a trophy!

I love taking my grandchildren to the zoo and they are always fascinated by the Rhino, as am I, with its prehistoric looks. The baby ones are too cute.

I hope other states do as much as the state of Ohio is doing to allow these animals to survive. I can never understand poaching, but I guess it all boils down to greed, sadly.

Up ++++ tweeting, pinning and sharing

Blessings and peace


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 22 months ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

Powerful piece about a powerful animal. So heart wrenching, I'm very glad for your advocacy of zoos, which many of my animal-rights obsessed friends abhor. Although not a perfect solution, as habitat is displaced by human encroachment zoos are one of the few oases left for many creatures. The white rhino does indeed look prehistoric, on the same plane as Aldabra or Galapagos tortoise in my mind. My family pilgramages out to PA usually once a year, always looking for a good diversion, a day pit stop at one of the three zoos, also would love to see those wild horses, great uplifting story Patty!

Ben


twoseven profile image

twoseven 22 months ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Fascinating! My boys have just been learning about rhinos through the PBS kids show "Wild Kratts" - now I can go through this article with them to learn even more. And then we can print out the coloring page and decorate it together!

I had no idea Ohio was playing such a role in helping the white Rhino. We live in Wisconsin so this will also be super interesting to my boys that another midwestern state is trying to help the animals!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean

Very interesting as are all your articles. Had no idea there could be such a thing as a white rhino. The number of visitors to the parks in Ohio must be on the increase. As for killing a rhino to raise funds, that on is difficult to grapple with. Thanks for this information.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America Author

@twoseven - The Milwaukee County Zoo at 10001 West Blue Mound Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53226 is a partner with the IRF, so maybe you and your family can go visit!

@Faith Reaper - The US has more partner zoos and wildlife parks (dozens) with the Rhino Foundation than any other country, so we're helping a lot! Australia is next, with three.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America Author

Ben - I feel the same about zoos and wildlife parks, that they must served protect the species therein, while educating and entertaining people. The programs for overnight stays for families and school field trips are awesome and Columbus Zoo had a high school on site for a few years.

@Ms. Dora - The Ohio parks system, public and private, has certainly brought more tourists, visitors, residents and businesses to us. It's what helped pull Dayton and Toledo out of the dumps a few years ago.


no body profile image

no body 22 months ago from Rochester, New York

Very interesting. I remember when I was young and took my first tour of the house of George Eastman. He has big game animals stuffed all over his home. To see the rhino and elephant heads was, to me, breathtaking for their size alone. As an adult, I do no hunting, not that I disapprove of killing animals but because I personally hate dead things. I think that the killing of animals for sport is a waste. Animals were put under human care in the beginning of the Bible and I don't believe that has changed. I do think it was a shame that the man issued the hunting pass could not bring the trophy home. The thing you mentioned about the white rhino not being white was very interesting to me. In the picture it did look pretty white but maybe that was just dust covering. Anyway, Patty, it was a great article. Thank you, voted up and interesting. Bob.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America Author

@no body - The size of these animals reminds me of dinosaurs in our museums.

You remind me that for years in the lobby of Upper Arlington High School in Central Ohio, there was a taxidermied bear that golfer Jack Nicklaus ("The Golden Bear") had shot. As a teen, I did not think much about it, except that it was very big and dead, it's face not lifelike. Today, I feel a little creeped out about it - how would you ever easily move a houseful of these things?. I like to visit Cabella's outdoor stores, but the stuffed wild game looks a little weird. The aquarium in the Dundee, Michigan store is great, though.

So far, of a permit to bring home the rhino from Africa is not to be issues, then the permit to hunt it will be reviled and the money refunded.

Interestingly, a woman at the same hunting tour agency posted a picture recently of a 530-pound bear she shot and received a lot of hate mail about it. I can't understand killing an animal only to stuff it - I don't care for a lot of nicknacks and stand-abouts. Pictures take up less room.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago

Wow Patty, I thought the White Rhinos were gone. Such an interesting animal and such an interesting hub.

Voted up, UABI and shared.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 22 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hi Patti - it is sad that a hub like this has to be written. We humans have no idea how to share the planet and will likely perish as a result. It is good to see that people are trying to 'reseed' this animals back into the wild, the horses have a chance.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working