The Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve is home to white rhinos, springbok antelope, African crowned cranes and white storks. This naturalistic home features many sustainable elements such as straw bale walls, a green roof and a cistern, which harvests rainwater. Additionally, this habitat features indoor and outdoor viewing areas, allowing guests to view our rhinos any time of the year. Opened in 2015, the Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve is an example of a successful pairing of public and private dollars to improve the experience for our guests and our animal staff responsible for the direct care of the housed species.
The Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve was designed to hold new animals before they transition onto the main outdoor, multispecies habitat. This design provides zookeepers with an increased flexibility to section off parts of the nearly 7,000-square-foot barn to accommodate animals at different times, to monitor their health and well-being before introducing them to the exhibit and its current residents, including our female rhino, Jeannie.
Rudo is our newest exhibit member. This male Southern white rhinoceros arrived at the Tulsa Zoo only weeks before World Rhino Day 2018. Rudo spent his first few weeks in the barn before being introduced to Jeannie, our 38-year-old female Southern white rhino. Rudo was born on Jan. 24, 2017, at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo to mother Kayla and father Tim. His name means love in Shona, a language primarily spoken in Zimbabwe. Rudo will be a companion to Jeannie, eventually forming a crash, a term used to describe a group of rhinos. They are important ambassadors for their species, giving guests an opportunity to see rhinos up close and learn about the threats they face.
Why Rhino Conservation Matters
An estimated 20,000 white rhinoceroses remain in the wild, but the populations of all five species continue to dwindle at an alarming rate due to poaching. The Tulsa Zoo supports the International Rhino Foundation’s program, Stop Poaching Now, which works to reduce the supply and demand of rhinoceros horns.
The largest species of land mammal after the elephants, the white rhino is native to Africa. Of the two distinct subspecies of white rhinos, only populations of the Southern white rhino remain in the wild. The Northern white rhino is extinct in the wild due to poaching; only two females remain in human care, on Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.