Critically Endangered Iowa Zoo Animal Leaving The State
Kiano the rhino at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines is moving on after spending the last ten years in the Hawkeye State.
The father of two baby rhinos at the zoo, Kiano has done what he can in his lifetime to help continue the existence of his species, the Eastern Black Rhino.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, "Populations of black rhino declined dramatically in the 20th century at the hands of European hunters and settlers. Between 1960 and 1995, black rhino numbers dropped by a sobering 98%, to less than 2,500. Since then, the species has made a tremendous comeback from the brink of extinction. Thanks to persistent conservation efforts across Africa, black rhino numbers have doubled from their historic low 20 years ago to around 5,500 today."
It continues: "a lot of work remains to bring the numbers up to even a fraction of what it once was—and to ensure that it stays there. Wildlife crime—in this case, poaching and black-market trafficking of rhino horn—continues to plague the species and threaten its recovery."
Part of a captive breeding program, Kiano will be moving south to make room for other rhinos at Blank Park.
Kayla Freeman, the Large Mammal Supervisor at the Blank Park Zoo, said this to WHO13 about what Kiano helped accomplish at the zoo:
The breeding and having babies is the most important thing. We get those recommendations from the species' survival plan based on their genetics. In the past they’ve looked at Ayanna and Kiano’s genetics and thought that they were a good pair so we had Kamara and Tumani. Now he’s moving on to Texas.
WHO13 adds that eventually, Blank Park Zoo plans to get a new male rhino to continue the breeding program.
This is the second animal in six weeks that is being moved from the Blank Park Zoo.