Status in the Wild:
The Great Plains Zoo is the home to a very important pair of Eastern Black Rhinos, Jubba and Imara. Jubba, a male, came to the Zoo in 2000, while Imara, a female, arrived at the Zoo in 1999. They quickly became an vital breeding pair contributing to the success of Eastern Black Rhinos.
Their first calf, Kapuki, was born on July 7, 2005. She left the Great Plains Zoo on September 11, 2008, to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Kapuki produced her first calf, a male, in 2013.
Their second offspring, Kiano, was born on October 7, 2010. Kiano was one of only five Eastern Black Rhino calves born in 2010. He left the Great Plains Zoo for the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 3, 2012. Kiano produced his first calf, a female, in October 2016.
On September 12, 2016, Jubba and Imara’s third offspring, a male calf, was born at the Great Plains Zoo. He was the first Eastern Black Rhino born as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquarium’s (AZA) endangered species breeding program since 2014.
Jubba, Imara and Komati are currently a part of the Great Plain Zoo’s “Rare Rhinos of Africa” exhibit. The Zoo is a critical player in the AZA’s endangered species breeding program; the Rhinos at the Zoo are now three of only 58 Eastern Black Rhinos in North America. It is estimated that fewer than 740 Eastern Black Rhinos are left in the wild, and they are considered to be a critically endangered species. While they do not have natural predators, their numbers are drastically low due in large part to illegal poaching for their valuable horns.