3,500-pound rhino named Brian joins the Columbus Zoo crew

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — He’s majestic, weighs approximately 3,500 pounds, and is an important representative for his vulnerable species. And his name is Brian.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed a four-year-old greater one-horned rhino bull stud, who arrived on April 9, 2021, from the Center for Conservation of Tropical Ungulates (CCTU), an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Sustainability Partner located in Florida, according to a media release from Columbus Zoo.

Columbus Zoo Animal Care staff, along with a staff veterinarian, and Facilities team members, traveled with Brian to ensure he arrived safely. 

His care team in the Zoo’s Asia Quest region reports that Brian has been settling in well. The team took cues from him and introduced him to different areas behind the scenes when he indicated that he was ready. Keepers have also been working with him to establish a trusting bond with him—especially over applesauce and alfalfa hay, the release explained.

Now that Brian has had time to become more familiar with his surroundings, beginning this weekend, guests will have the opportunity to view him in the indoor habitat located in the elephant and rhino building. They will likely find him engaging in one of his favorite activities—playing in the sand pile! Viewing schedules will be determined by Brian. 

Greater one-horned rhinos are solitary by nature and only come together during breeding, the release said. When a male and female do come together, the courting behavior can be rather extreme. The pastures at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio, are a perfect location for these introductions.

With this in mind, the Zoo and The Wilds support the Rhino SSP program by having the Zoo house Brian, The Wilds’ future breeding bull. This partnership will allow for an easier transition when the time comes for The Wilds to welcome Brian and introduce him to the females, the release concluded.

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