Right now we’re in the middle of Rhino Week! We are celebrating rhinos and rhino conservation all week long with activities and events.
We are currently holding a raffle for prizes including rhino encounters and zoo passes, so if you are in the zoo between now and Sunday stop by the EARTH Discovery Center to buy a raffle ticket! We are also holding a Save the Rhinos Poster Contest. The deadline is August 1st, so there’s still plenty of time to create your masterpiece!
On Sunday we had a rhino scavenger hunt which involved finding cutouts of the five rhino species hidden in the zoo. We’ll be doing this again on Saturday the 12th (the last day of rhino week).
On Monday we tried a new rhino enrichment. Enrichment is important for animals in captivity because it helps to keep them stimulated mentally and physically. It can also help encourage natural behaviors. Rhinos have very poor eyesight, but excellent senses of smell. We put a large log in the habitat and put Chrome cologne on one side and a vanilla musk on the other. The log provides them with something to rub their horns on and the scents provide them with something unfamiliar for them to investigate. Our rhinos, Thelma especially, showed a clear preference for Chrome!
We repeated the enrichment on Wednesday, except we used peppermint oil and cinnamon this time. We were surprised to see that they were interested in neither of the smells. This may be because the scented log was no longer new and novel, because they simply weren’t interested in either scent, or it may have just been too hot out. We’re trying again on Saturday with two new smells, so who knows what they’ll do!
Tonight we have a rhino themed after hours event from 6-8pm. It’s free for EARTH members and $15/adult nonmember and $10/child nonmember. The zoo will be open to explore, but make sure you are back at the EARTH Discovery Center for a presentation from Bill Konstant from the International Rhino Foundation and a raffle.
Friday night we have a new and exciting event 6pm-8pm called Winos For Rhinos! It’s a 21+ ONLY event and $15/nonmembers and $10/ EARTH members. The zoo will be open for guests and there will be a wine tasting provided by Zoll Cellars and The Naked Grape and a presentation by Bill Konstant from the IRF.
Saturday is the last day of Rhino Week. There will be a scavenger hunt and we will be doing more rhino enrichment. Proceeds from this week’s after hours events and raffle ticket sales will all go to the International Rhino Foundation. We’ll post more photos at the end of the week!