As you may have heard, our Zoo will be saying farewell to one of our most loved species, African Elephants. While we’re sad to bid adieu to these popular pachyderms, we’re so excited to be bringing back a species that hasn’t been at Riverbanks since 1989, Southern white rhinoceros!
Exotic Atmosphere with Meerkats, Elephants, and now Rhinos
Our beloved pair of lady Elephants, Robin and Belle, have been a part of our herd at Riverbanks for over 10 years. The decision for their move was not made lightly, but was discovered to truly be more beneficial for them as well as have a lasting impact at Riverbanks. Our pachyderm pair will be making a move to a different facility with a larger Elephant herd. Since Elephants are generally social creatures, introducing them back into a larger herd is necessary to better their quality of life. Since the Ndoki Lodge was built in 2002, these gentle giants have been a huge part of events in this venue. The Lodge’s panoramic windows overlook the Meerkat and Elephant exhibits, giving event guests an exotic atmosphere and unique experience. From providing a little distraction and fun from the mundane meeting, to the brides and grooms getting their first pictures as a married couple with them, they have been a special addition to events here at Riverbanks.
Book the Ndoki Lodge for a Unique Event with a View!
After Belle and Robin have been moved to their new home in the fall, we will begin construction on the exhibit to prepare for our new animals’ arrival, the Southern white rhinos. Rhinos require a similar, but different exhibit space with activities for them to take part in, as Rhinos are busier bodies than Elephants are. Great news for our event hosts and guests – the Ndoki Lodge’s windows will still have a clear view of this exhibit, so event guests will now have the opportunity to be greeted by these massive mammals. In fact, White rhinos are the most social of the five species of rhinos, so we are expecting them to definitely make a debut! The new exhibit will offer enrichment activities: a tree, automatic feeders, and a brush, allowing for mental stimulation and positive interactions in their new environment. These objects will not only be beneficial for our new animal herd, but also benefit our guests by increasing animal visibility with more educational experience and an exciting atmosphere for our guests.
The addition of white rhinos allows Riverbanks to help in the efforts of limiting the endangerment of these mammals. The number of individuals of this species is dwindling; Northern white rhinos are now almost extinct due to poaching in the wild. By bringing these beauties to Riverbanks, we’re able to offer educational opportunities for our guests to learn about them, the uncertain future they face, and what we can do to help!
Fun Goodbye Parties and Welcome Events on the Horizon
We look forward to welcoming rhinos back to Riverbanks, and hope that our event guests are ready to experience this memorable moment. The transition will begin in the Fall of 2019, but before the movement of these massive mammals takes place, Riverbanks will have special events and activities for all to take part in. We’ll even have a card you can sign to say farewell to our Elephant friends that will go with them to their new home, so be on the lookout for dates and details to come. Needless to say, we cannot wait to welcome rhinos back to Riverbanks! The new exhibit is slated to open in Summer 2020.