The world's largest rhino statue has been gifted to the San Antonio Zoo in recognition of the zoo's leading role in helping preserve the endangered species, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The 17 foot tall bronze sculpture, called 'The Last Three' will be installed at the zoo in early Spring of 2019, at the same time as the Zoo opens its new and improved rhino habitat.
“San Antonio Zoo is honored to become the permanent new home of the world’s largest rhino sculpture,” said Tim Morrow, CEO and Executive Director of San Antonio Zoo. “As we have revised our vision and mission at San Antonio Zoo, a new focus on conservation has emerged. Our zoo’s logo features two iconic animals, the giraffe and rhino which are both on the brink of extinction and both of which are species we are working to save. It is fitting to bring this iconic artwork to San Antonio as we open the rhino habitat, the latest in our ongoing expansion projects.”
The male Northern white rhinos which the sculpture was created to honor, have gone extinct, but the San Antonio Zoo is working at the forefront of the effort to preserve the Southern white rhinos, and plans to receive two female Southern white rhinos from other zoos, as well as a male to begin a breeding program.
The zoo hopes to re-establish its rhino breeding program.
In 1972, San Antonio Zoo was the first zoo in North America to have a successful Southern white rhino birth and has had 19 successful rhino births since. Fittingly, zoo officials are thrilled to bring this iconic artwork, and more rhinos to San Antonio.
PHOTO: SAN ANTONIO ZOO/CHUCK CUREAU