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Milestones for Kiazi the southern white rhino

As you may recall from a previous Keeper Stories, Zoo Atlanta recently welcomed a new arrival: southern white rhino Kiazi!

Kiazi recently finished her quarantine period, which is standard for all new arrivals here at Zoo Atlanta. Due to this quarantine period, Kiazi has yet to share space with Mumbles, the Zoo’s male southern white rhino. Introductions between the two are the next big step. It will take some time before Kiazi and Mumbles are housed together, but we have begun the process of introducing the two.

Introducing the pair begins by allowing the rhinos to see each other, but not share space with one another just yet. We call this step of the process visual introductions. We do this by having Mumbles in the front stall of the rhino indoor area, and Kiazi in another stall within the main portion of the indoor area. During this time, both rhinos have access to separate outdoor areas, with the option of being within visual contact of each other or moving to the other space if desired. Members of the Rhino Care Team are present during this process to observe how it goes and to assist with moving either individual to another space if needed. Visual introductions have been going really well! Both Mumbles and Kiazi have shown interest in one another.

The team will continue with more visual introductions, increasing the duration of each session before moving on to “howdies.” This is where both rhinos will be within close proximity to one another and will be able to touch each other, but they will not share the same space. These “howdies” will be followed by physical introductions to each other. Just like with visual introductions, these portions of the process will also take time before the rhinos are considered to be in a herd.

And lastly but very importantly, another milestone for Kiazi is that as of this week, she has had an opportunity to explore the outdoor habitat. Kiazi and Mumbles are currently alternating in the habitat, so while there’s not a guarantee that you’ll see her during your next visit, you may have a sighting!

It is a very exciting time in the Hoofstock Department, and we look forward to continuing to update you as we move further along in this process!

Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals

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