Hamilton Zoo rhino Jamila makes the trip north to her new home at Auckland Zoo this week as part of a planned breeding programme for the threatened species.

Jamila is the daughter of the Zoo’s male Kruger and female Moesha and was born at Hamilton Zoo in March 2012. She will join Auckland Zoo rhino boys Zambezi and Inkosi.

“Jamila is such a cool rhino with a lovely nature. We will miss her but know that it is time for her to move on” says Team Leader of ungulates Aaron Gilmore.

"She’s a real mummys girl but I’ve watched her grow up over the last six years and she’s really starting to come into her own”.

Mr Gilmore believes the transfer is a positive move for the regional captive breeding programme of white rhinos which is carefully managed to maximise the gene pool and ensure that an appropriate population is maintained.

“We’ve had exceptional success with our rhino breeding with seven calves born here and Jamila’s move to Auckland Zoo offers the chance for her to eventually pair up and continue this”.


Rhino Jamila is moving to Auckland!

Watch as the Ungulates team from Hamilton Zoo acquaint Jamila with her travel crate and take bloods, ahead of her move north.

Both Zoos have been preparing for the move over the last few months with conditioning of Jamila taking place to ensure the transfer is as smooth and stress free as possible.

“We have spent a lot of time introducing Jamila to the crate she’ll be in during the move. Every morning when she comes out of the night yards, her keepers have spent time conditioning her to go into the crate so on the day of the move it won’t all be brand new.”

The Auckland Zoo team have also been down to see Jamila and are excited about her arrival.

Auckland Zoo curator of mammals Warren Spencer says “It's been great working with our Hamilton Zoo friends organising Jamila’s move, and also continuing to recognise the importance of both our zoos as voices and advocates for this threatened species.”

“Our hope is that, Auckland will welcome a beautiful calf in the future.”

Southern white rhino Fast Facts

  1. Southern White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum) is the largest of the 5 species of rhino (southern white, black, greater on-horned, Javan and Sumatran). It is found mostly in South Africa, with smaller populations in Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe
  2. Conservation status:  Near Threatened (IUCN Red List)
  3. Conservation success:  Once common across southern Africa, these rhino were thought to be extinct in the late 19th century, but in 1895 a small population of less than 100 individuals was discovered in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. After over a century of successful protection and management, they are now classified as ‘Near Threatened’
  4. Current threats: Sadly, poaching for the illegal trade in their horns, remains a major threat to rhino today
  5. Auckland Zoo support for rhino: Auckland Zoo supports the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT) in Zimbabwe, a conservation organisation that is working to increase both black and white rhino numbers in the Lowveld region.
  6. Auckland Zoo rhino:  Auckland Zoo is currently home to two southern white rhino – males Zambezi and Inkosi.