TYLER, Texas — Animal lovers, there’s a new big guy in town that you just got to see. The Caldwell Zoo in Tyler welcomed its newest resident black rhino Keanu on Tuesday.
Keanu is 12 years old and comes to East Texas from an Iowa zoo. Officials said he spent two months in quarantine, while getting to know his new digs. Now, he's proudly showing off his beautiful horn.
Keanu normally eats hay, produce and grains, but he has become fond of barbecue sauce and French dressing.
Kara Moss, Caldwell Zoo mammals keeper, said Keanu is active and he enjoys roaming around.
"He likes to look into the public areas. He likes to interact with his keepers," Moss said.
Black rhinos are endangered in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, the population of black rhino decreased significantly in the 20th century because of European hunters and settlers in Africa. From 1960 to 1995, the number of black rhinos went down to less than 2,500, which was a 98% drop.
Because of conservation efforts throughout Africa, the black rhino population has risen to around 5,500, but these animals still remain critically endangered, according to WWF.
Wildlife crime like poaching and black-market trafficking of rhino horn continues to hinder the population recovery, WWF said.