Utenzi, Eastern Black Rhinoceros

October 6, 2022

The zoo’s new arrival, Utenzi, will soon be viewable at Regenstein African Journey! In the coming days and weeks, he’ll be venturing outdoors, so you may want to plan a stop at Regenstein African Journey later this fall to welcome him! The 18-year-old male rhino is here from Cincinnati Zoo on a breeding recommendation from the Eastern Black Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan®.

He’ll eventually be paired with resident female Kapuki, but for now, the former Cincinnati Zoo resident appears to be adjusting quite well to his new home in Chicago. After his October 2 arrival, Utenzi quickly started engaging with keepers, eating, and exploring the indoor habitat, which are all good signs that he will thrive in this environment.

Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo.

Eastern black rhinoceroses are a critically endangered species, in part because they are poached for their horns. Although the horns are made from keratin, the same material that makes up human hair and nails, some practitioners of traditional medicine believe they have healing benefits. The trade of these horns has been prohibited by international law.

Lincoln Park Zoo scientists developed a hormone-monitoring technique that has led to the birth of two calves since 2013.

Regenstein African Journey is also home to Kapuki, who is 17 years old, and her offspring Romeo, born here at the zoo in 2019.

Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo.