BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Zoo announced Monday it welcomed two 4-year-old southern white rhinoceros to the African Watering Hole at the zoo.
The two male rhinos arrived in November from an accredited private facility. After a 30-day mandatory quarantine, the two have spent the winter getting accustomed to their new home.READ MORE: People In Baltimore Protest In Solidarity, Mourning Daunte Wright's Death After He Was Fatally Shot By Police During Traffic Stop In Minnesota
“These two young rhino are very agile, intelligent animals,” said Erin Grimm, mammal collection and conservation manager at the Zoo. “Since their arrival, it’s been important to acclimate them not only to their new caregivers, but also to the climate here in Baltimore. They have since had exposure to our winter weather in small increments, however it’s been far too cold this winter to properly introduce them to the full scope of the African Watering Hole. We have been eagerly anticipating warmer weather so we can familiarize them with the habitat.”READ MORE: Pause In Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Could Delay Maryland's Goals As Baltimore City Emerges As Potential New Hotspot
Southern white rhinos are classified as “near threatened.” Their numbers have improved significantly since the early 20th century when they were thought to be extinct.
“These two have never seen zebra or ostrich before, so initial introductions with these animals has not yet begun, but will take place slowly after the rhino are acclimated to the Watering Hole,” continued Grimm. “We will be rotating animals in and out of the habitat, so it’s hard to say definitely when guests will be able to see the rhinos right now. We ask folks to be patient while we make certain that all the animals are comfortable sharing the same space on a daily basis.”MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Update: Are You Eligible For A Plus-Up Payment?
White rhinos are not white, despite their name. In Afrikaans, a Dutch-based language spoken in parts of southern Africa, the word for wide is “wiet.” So when English speakers first heard the name for these rhinos it was misinterpreted as white when they were saying wide.