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Contact(s):Susan Altrui

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Zoo Welcomes New Female Black Rhino

Rhino Arrival Coincides with Annual Bowling for Rhinos Event

LITTLE ROCK (July 8, 2008) – The Little Rock Zoo is proud to announce the arrival of a Navasha, a 26-year-old female black rhino from the Lincoln Park Zoo.

To watch a video of her dramatic move, use the link below:

Navasha was transferred to Little Rock as a recommendation of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a captive management animal program for endangered species in accredited American zoos. The SSP recommended Navasha be a companion to Johari, a 13-year-old male black rhino living at the Zoo since 1996.

Navasha has moved into her new exhibit at the Zoo but has not been officially introduced to Johari, although both rhinos are occasionally able to see each other. For a short period of time, Navasha and Johari will be kept in separate stalls in the rhino barn to allow Navasha time to acclimate to her new surroundings. Once introduced, the two rhinos will occupy the west side of the rhino yard. According to Zoo staff, Navasha is adjusting well to her new surroundings and is spending more time outside.

Zoo Director Mike Blakely said the addition of Navasha is a feather in the hat for the Little Rock Zoo.

“Rhinos are incredibly endangered in the wild and very rare in American zoos. The fact that the Little Rock Zoo received a recommendation to take Navasha as a companion for Johari says our Zoo is doing something right,” said Blakely.

Navasha arrives just in time for the Zoo’s annual fundraiser for wild rhino conservation, Bowling for Rhinos, set for July 17, 2008, at 6:00 p.m. at Millennium Bowl in Maumelle.

Tickets are only $25 per person for adults and $15 per person for children. Ticket price includes entry to the event, shoe rental, and two games of bowling. A silent auction featuring unique animal items will start at 6:00 p.m. All proceeds go to organizations in Africa and Asia working to save the wild rhino. For more information or to register, visit

The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit


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