2019 Toronto Zoo. Greater One-Horned Rhino Kiran 1st Birthday


Friday, January 4, 2019 8:53:00 PM

Toronto Zoo's Greater One-Horned Rhino 'Kiran' Celebrates His First Birthday!

(Toronto Zoo, January 4, 2019) - Today, the Toronto Zoo hosted a first birthday celebration for our male greater one-horned rhino calf, Kiran! As part of the celebration, Kiran received a special ice treat and wrapped birthday gifts filled with some of his favourite foods including bananas and cantaloupe.

Kiran was born on January 4, 2018, to mother Ashakiran (affectionately known to her keepers as "Asha") and father Vishnu. At 12 months of age Kiran weighs over 635 kilograms and has a healthy appetite. His Keepers describe him as being confident, adventurous and even feisty in nature. Kiran is easily motivated by food which helps in his day-to-day behavioural training with his Keepers. They are beginning to work with Kiran on ‘target’ training in particular, which is an important milestone for the one-year-old rhino to learn as this will assist in his routine health exams.

Kiran is an important ambassador for greater one-horned rhino conservation, also known as the Indian rhino, as the species is currently listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as there are only approximately 3,500 left in the wild. Declined to near extinction in the early 1900’s, the greater one-horned rhino was once listed as Endangered, however, with conservation efforts and strict protection, it was down listed to Vulnerable. This is considered a conservation success story but they are not out of the woods yet. Habitat degradation, human rhino conflict, and poaching continue to be threats. The greater one-horned rhino exists in a few small subpopulations in Nepal and India (West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Assam) inhabiting the riverine grasslands of the Terai and Brahmaputra Basins. With 70% of the wild population occurring in one area in Kaziranga National Park, any catastrophic event could have a huge impact on conservation efforts for this species.

The Toronto Zoo is part of both the Greater One-Horned Rhino Species Survival Plan (SSP) and White Rhino SSP, which aims to establish and maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations, and overall conservation efforts to save both of these incredible species. One of the Toronto Zoo's mandates is to educate visitors on current conservation issues and help preserve the incredible biodiversity on the planet. The Toronto Zoo supports rhinoceros conservation efforts in the wild through Keeper driven events and the Toronto Zoo’s Endangered Species Reserve Fund.

Visit the Zoo this weekend to congratulate Kiran on his first birthday! It’s also the final weekend for Toronto Zoo’s 12 Days of Enrichment event. For full details and to help plan your day visit torontozoo.com.

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