LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – How do you move a 2,700 pound endangered male Black Rhino from Texas to Lansing?
Phineas, a 9-year-old eastern black rhino, currently lives at the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, Texas.
The plan is to get Phineas to Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo to meet Doppsee, the zoo’s resident female black rhino.
From that point Potter Park Zoo team members are hoping nature will take its course.
“It is a privilege to house black rhinos at Potter Park Zoo,” said Zoo Director Cynthia Wagner. “There are only 57 eastern black rhinos in North American Zoos and around 5,000 in the wild. The addition of Phineas will help us continue our efforts to preserve this incredible species.”
Breeding programs are trying to preserve the black rhino species.
There are only 20 black rhino breeding pairs recommended by the American Association of Zoo Keepers.
Poaching is a serious threat to the rhino population.
Last year 1,175 rhinos were poached in South Africa alone.
Moving Phineas to Michigan is a feat of engineering and patience.
He is currently being trained to voluntarily enter a special rhino moving crate.
Once Phineas has that figured out he’ll begin the 1,000 mile trip in a climate-controlled vehicle sometime in April.
That journey carries a $10,000 price tag and donations can be made to help cover those costs here.