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Black Rhinoceros Moyo Leaves the Saint Louis Zoo

Male black rhinoceros Moyo (MOY-oh) arrived safely at Birmingham Zoo in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday, June 11, completing a move that was based on a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  

Moyo is a 5-year-old male black rhino. He was born at the Saint Louis Zoo on May 17, 2017, to mother Kati Rain and father Ajabu (ah-JAH-boo).  He was the second black rhino to be born at the Zoo in 26 years and only the 10th in Saint Louis Zoo history. His brother, Ruka, was born at the Zoo in 2011. Ruka left the Zoo in 2015 at 4 years old and now resides in another AZA-affiliated institution. 

Moyo’s move is based on a breeding recommendation by the AZA Black Rhino Species Survival Plan®, a conservation breeding program that manages a genetically healthy population of this species in North American zoos. Based on Moyo’s genetics, the hope is to grow and strengthen the black rhino population by providing Moyo the opportunity of creating a family. He will be joined by a female black rhino of similar age to improve the sustainability of this critically endangered species. 

“Moyo is a special rhino, and we really miss him. We have seen him grow up throughout the last five years, and we are happy to see him start this next chapter of his life,” said Katie Pilgram-Kloppe, Zoological Manager, River’s Edge. “This recommendation is a great win for the future of black rhinos. We are excited for Moyo and his opportunity to start a family of his own.”  

The Saint Louis Zoo participates in over 19 AZA Species Survival Plans for many species, including black rhinos. We also support the black rhinos through the Saint Louis Zoo  

WildCare Institute Center for Conservation in the Horn of Africa. The center was established to provide conservation support for animals in the Horn of Africa in both their native environment and in their habitats in zoos. This center's work supports the Sera Rhino Sanctuary in northern Kenya which benefits black rhinos. Additionally, the Zoo’s WildCare Institute supports the Stop Poaching Now program through the International Rhino Foundation. 

About the Saint Louis Zoo  
Home to over 14,000 animals, representing nearly 500 species, the Saint Louis Zoo is recognized worldwide for its innovative approaches to animal care and management, wildlife conservation, research, and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, the Saint Louis Zoo attracts approximately 3 million visitors annually and is the most-visited attraction in the region. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Saint Louis Zoo is part of an elite group of institutions that meet the highest standards in animal care as well as provide fun, safe and educational family experiences. The Saint Louis Zoo and the other AZA-accredited institutions collectively dedicate millions of dollars annually to support scientific research, conservation and education programs. For more information, visit