New southern white rhinoceros is now spending time in his outdoor habitat.
Mumbles the southern white rhino is now exploring his outdoor habitat at the African Savanna complex at Zoo Atlanta. Mumbles, who at 9 years old weighs over 4,300 pounds, arrived in Atlanta on May 20 on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) White Rhino Species Survival Plan® (SSP).
There is not yet a guarantee of seeing Mumbles, who is currently spending mornings in the habitat as he acclimates to his new environment.
Mumbles is Zoo Atlanta’s first southern white rhino, a species that, like all rhinos, faces population declines due to poaching for their horns – an urgent challenge that has already resulted in extinctions and near-extinctions for some rhino species. White rhinos are especially vulnerable because they often travel in herds in the wild, making it easier for poachers to locate them. Powdered rhino horn is believed by some cultures to possess medical properties, although rhino horns are made of keratin – the same substance found in human hair and fingernails – and have no known medicinal value.
Zoo Atlanta will work with the White Rhino SSP, which seeks to maintain the genetic diversity and long-term population sustainability of all white rhinos living in North American populations, on identifying future companions for Mumbles.
Zoo Atlanta reopened to the public on May 16 with new protocols and procedures in place to promote wellness and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Aspects of this phased reopening include but are not limited to required timed ticketing to limit the capacity of guests in the Zoo at a given time (tickets must be purchased online in advance); a one-way experience that enables and encourages social distancing; and temporary closures of buildings and other indoor experiences. Learn more on the Zoo’s Know Before You Visit page.