The Buffalo Zoo will have a new rhino on display for its visitors soon.  Unfortunately, though, it's bittersweet news.

Meet Romeo The Rhino

The Buffalo Zoo has announced that they will have a brand new rhino for their visitors to check out.  His name is Romeo.  He's a black rhino and he comes to us from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.  He's just four years old and was sent as part of the zoo's 'Species Survival Plan'.

What is the Buffalo Zoo's 'Species Survival Plan?'

A Species Survival Plan is something that was developed in the 80s.  The goal is to help ensure the survival of selected species that live in zoos and aquariums.  Most of these species can be described as threatened or endangered in the wild.

Rhinos are certainly one of those species.  Sadly, because of poachers and other circumstances like the loss of their natural habitats, very few rhinos exist outside of zoos, national parks, and reserves.  The World Wildlife Federation estimates that there are only about 27,000 rhinos left in the wild across the world and that number is continually dropping.  They estimate that number to be even smaller with black rhinos.  There are only about 5,500 of them left in the world.

Why is Romeo's arrival bittersweet?

It's great news that the Buffalo Zoo will be able to give Romeo a home.  But it is bittersweet because part of the deal with the Lincoln Park Zoo is that we will be trading one of ours with them.  They will be getting Lulu, our five-year-old eastern black rhino.  She came to us at just two years old from the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo.

“It is incredibly important that we continue to work together to save this critically endangered species. Moving these rhinos to their new homes gives each Zoo a chance to work towards the conservation of the species. There are currently 53 animals at 26 AZA-accredited zoos so every female being in a breeding situation is critical to the population.” - Lisa Smith, Buffalo Zoo President, and CEO

If you would like to see Romeo, the zoo will be open daily from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm daily.

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