Henry Doorly Zoo’s baby rhino turns 2

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 1:17 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It was a celebration fitting for the one-ton 2-year-old, Marshall the Indian Rhino.

“This is very novel for them,” Hoofstock keeper Tara Warner said as Marshall and his mom destroyed his birthday treats. “They’re not used to having this in their yards so very enriching for them to get to go and spare with it like this. She’s definitely doing some protection noises, also helping to open some of those gifts for Marshall.”

Although mom Hellary tried to steal the show with her boisterous bellows, all eyes were on Marshall at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

“We call it the one-ton party. So it’s his second birthday party and he just hit two thousand pounds, one ton,” zoo director Dennis Pate said.

While Marshall’s excitement was eclipsed by his mom and exhibit mates the Père David’s deer, no one could match the giddiness of hoofstock keeper Tara Warner.

“He’s just constantly growing and constantly learning new things, so just a really fun time,” Warner explained watching Marshall proudly.

Aside from the presents and cake made from empty boxes, Marshall’s birthday is a big deal for his species.

“As he gets older, he’s going to help out with the species survival plan,” Warner said. “So it’s really important to us to get more Indian Rhinos into the world because there’s only about 3,000, a little more than 3,000 left out there.”

Marshall, still considered a baby, has other young animals at the zoo to grow up with.

Just this month alone we welcomed a baby giraffe and got an update on the pregnancy of Claire the elephant.

“It’s always exciting, not just because they’re so freaking cute to have babies, it’s also because they’re helping to represent their species and move that along. And to help them to survive,” Warner said.

Now that Marshall is two, visitors to the zoo can expect to see him going out on his own and becoming more independent from mom.

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