Rhino rescue facility gets a new name

Posted at 11:43 AM, Feb 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-06 14:43:06-05

The rhino rescue facility at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park got a new name Saturday, thanks to a donation of $1.16 million.

San Diego Zoo Global announced that the recently built facility is now known as the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center. Kahn is a longtime animal advocate who donated more than a third of the $3 million it cost to build the state-of-the-art animal facility that's dedicated to the conservation of white rhinos.

"We are beyond grateful to Ms. Kahn for making San Diego Zoo Global's vision to save rhinos from extinction a reality," Douglas G. Myers, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global, said in a news release. "The Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center provides our animal care staff and researchers with a one-of-a-kind facility in which to further their efforts to save rhinos for generations to come."

The center is located on the former site of the Park's two-acre black rhino exhibit and is visible from the Africa Tram Safari. The facility includes three large outdoor yards, an outdoor maternity yard, and a temperature-controlled maternity barn, among other features.

An average of three rhinos per day are killed in the wild by poachers. The critically endangered species could be extinct in 15 years if that rate continues, according to San Diego Zoo Global.