PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Much like Portlanders, rhinoceroses enjoy the seasonal fare.
The Oregon Zoo shared video today of its black rhinos “King” and “Jozi” enjoying some fall pumpkins in Rhino Ridge. In the video, one of the rhinos punches a horn-sized hole into a pumpkin before chowing down on its tasty flesh.
“They gored the gourds,” the zoo joked on social media.
Oregon Zoo rhino area supervisor Kelly Gomez told KOIN 6 that pumpkin feedings are part of the Oregon Zoo’s “environmental enrichment program,” aimed at improving the animals’ quality of life through stimulating and challenging environments, objects, and activities.
“The rhinos love interacting with new items, and the pumpkins were a lot of fun for them,” Gomez said.
Jozi and King belong to the critically-endangered eastern subspecies of black rhinoceros. The western subspecies of black rhino was declared extinct in 2011. Jozi and King were transferred to Portland as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for black rhinos.
“These two represent a species that’s among the most endangered on the planet,” Gomez said. “Poaching and the illegal wildlife trade have wiped out 96% of the world’s black rhino population. Hopefully, we can help inspire a new chapter in the conservation of this incredible species.”