The Gladys Porter Zoo is now home to not one but two white rhinoceroses.
Julie is joining Tilly as the second white rhinoceros at the zoo. “White rhinos are really social, they’re not like other rhinos,” said Walter Dupree, the zoo’s curator of animals.
The white rhinoceros is also known as the square-lipped rhinoceros and is the largest species of rhino that exists. The herbivores are found in grasslands and savannahs.
In a viewing Wednesday at the zoo, the rhinos were scheduled to make their first face-to-face encounters.
The zoo acquired Tilly in 1988 from Tennessee’s Knoxville Zoo. She is 48 years old.
Julie, who is 20 years old from Ohio, was introduced to the exhibit alone last week to familiarize herself with her new home.
Julie and Tilly have been housed in the same barn since Julie’s arrival on June 21, but resided in separate stalls. They have been able to see and smell each other, but have not been able to make actual contact.
Dupree said rhinos in captivity live between 40 and 45 years and in the wild for 30 to 35 years.
“They go through quarantine for 30 days,” Dupree said of an animal’s arrival to the zoo.