2017 Toronto Zoo. Nandu's First Birthday


Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:22:00 PM

The Toronto Zoo is kicking off Family Day Weekend with Zoo families big and small, and a special treat for Indian rhino calf, Nandu, on the occasion of his first birthday.

Nandu now weighs over 1,330 pounds! His horn continues to grow and he is becoming more playful, keepers often find him wresting with mom, Ashakiran. Be sure to visit him this winter in our newly renovated Indian Rhino House.

On the February 17 Zoo staff have prepared a special treat for Nandu - iced cake with apples, carrots and melons. Cake was so sweet espacially for Nandu's mom, who can't stop eating it. Nandu was more shy and every time followed Ashakiran.

Born at only 140 lbs, Nandu now weighs 1,645lbs! Now that he is older, keepers continue to work with him on behavioural husbandry. This includes training him to open his mouth and raise a foot (both for examination purposes) and present body parts by touching them to a target object (referred to as target training). Our keepers blow a whistle when Nandu has done something correctly, and use food as a positive reinforcement, including Nandu’s favourites like banana, apples and cantaloupe.

His horn continues to grow and he is becoming more playful, keepers often find him wresting with mom, Ashakiran.

Nandu continues to nurse from mom Ashakiran occasionally, however they are usually weaned around 12-18 months so nursing will decrease as time goes on. He eats hay, various amounts of produce, and cubes (which consist of hay with added vitamins and minerals) on a daily basis.

You can visit him and mom Asha daily in the newly renovated Indian rhino pavilion!

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