The mission of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is 'to improve the future for wildlife' but the goal of saving critically endangered black rhinos cannot be accomplished alone. The Zoo is working with many conservation groups including the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the International Rhino Foundation, the South African National Park Board, Kansas City Zoological Park, and the Potter Park Zoo to pair black rhinos, Inge and Jimma. Their future offspring will strengthen the genetic diversity of the black rhino population.
Known as AZA, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums represents virtually every professionally operated zoological park, aquarium, and wildlife park in North America. AZA supports membership excellence in conservation, education, science, and recreation.
The AZA established Species Survival Plans (SSP), a cooperative population management and conservation program for selected species or rare, threatened, and endangered animals in North American zoos and aquariums. Each SSP manages the breeding of a species in order to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse and self-sustaining population. It's like a computer dating service designed to produce the healthiest babies for the zoo population. Maintaining a healthy captive population is essential to the survival of any species facing the threat of extinction. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is participating in the 51 SSPs including the black rhino SSP.
The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) is a non-profit corporation of institutions and individuals worldwide whose sole purpose is dedicated to the conservation of Black, White, Sumatran, Javan and Indian rhinos; the five species of rhinoceros. The mission of the International Rhino Foundation is to contribute to rhino conservation by providing technical, administrative and financial services and support for programs which emphasize intensive management and scientific research.
Addo Elephant Park, one of the South African National Parks, is located near Port Elizabeth in South Africa's Eastern Cape. The 30,000 acre wildlife preserve is dedicated to protection of an entire ecosystem which supports African elephants and numerous other animals including antelope and numerous reptile, amphibian, insect and bird species.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
- Sponsor a rhino through the Cleveland Zoological Society's Adopt An Animal Program.
- Participate in Bowling for Rhinos, an annual fundraiser sponsored by the American Association of Zoo Keepers. The Cleveland Chapter of AAZK has contributed more than $38,000 of the $1 million raised nationally by "Bowling For Rhinos" since 1990.
- Support the International Rhino Foundation
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