Animeals for Bora and Zina

Bora and Zina, our Southern White rhinos, are two of the Zoo’s largest animals – weighing in between 2,200 and 2,700 pounds each. With that much mass, a pretty hefty sized diet must be consumed to stay healthy and thriving; but what do the rhinos eat and how much?

On this month’s Animeals, Chef Yohn walks us through a day in the life of a hungry, hungry rhino. Before the half-sisters arrived in April, he and the Animal Care Staff had to figure out how much extra food to order to account for the rhinos’ daily diet. Over 140 pounds of timothy hay, 40 pounds of alfalfa, 180 pounds of low-fiber herbivore grain, and 45 pounds of produce are consumed by the rhinos every week. You can only imagine how expensive our grocery list is!

Rhino tongues aren’t as agile as other animals, so much of their eating happens with the help of their large, wide mouths. They often use their lips to scoop the food into their mouth, meaning food needs to be proportionate enough to easily fit inside of their mouths.

The rhinos are often fed melon slices as enrichment during training sessions. During these sessions, the rhinos are given food for receiving their injections, among other things, during routine health exams.

For a special treat, Chef Yohn decided to “spice” things up a bit by covering half of their melon slices in herbivore grain. As always, he stays true to the rhinos’ daily diets and only feeds them the recommended diet from their diet sheet. Without further adieu, here is the simplest Animeals you’ll ever see – but still a tasty one according to how the rhinos ate!

You can check out the rhinos eating their treat and being the stars of this week’s #CreatureFeatureFriday below!

Seasoned Melon


• 2 cups of low-fiber herbivore grain

• 1 melon


Step 1: Cut the melon in half and then into slim wedges.

Step 2: Sprinkle a small amount of grain onto each melon piece.

Step 3: Using the palm of your hand (or fingers), gently rub and slightly press the grain into the melon, making it stick as much as possible.

Step 4: Learn all about Bora and Zina while they eat their meal!