Animals

Dec 3, 2012 12:02 PM by Andy Koen

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo welcomes new rhinoceros

COLORADO SPRINGS - They newest animal to join the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is also one of the heaviest. Jumbe (pronounced Joom-Bay) is a 9-year-old Eastern Black Rhinoceros who weighs in at a whopping 2,658 lbs.

He'll have a comfy new home inside the new $13.5 million Encounter Africa exhibit located right next door to the Wilgruen Elephant Center.

Jumbe's journey to the Pikes Peak Region began at the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, Texas. He traveled the 825 miles in a specially made crate onboard the back of a flat bed truck.

Tracy Thessing, the zoo's Director of Animal Collections says Jumbe has a very calm demeanor, which is unique for a young male rhino. She adds that he has adapted quickly to the zoo staff, to his new home and to the elephants.

"Our girls are still very curious about their new neighbor, though," Thessing said. "They get excited or run over to check him out whenever they hear him snort."

Guests who visit the Electric Safari will be the first to see Jumbe as well as getting a special sneak peak of the Encounter Africa exhibit.

The Electric Safari will have a limited opens this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It will then run nightly from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. from December 14 through January 1. The zoo will be closed on Christmas Eve.

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