Meet Bonnie: The Newest Addition to the Audubon Zoo

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Meet Bonnie, the 15-year-old southern white rhino believed to be one of only 20,000 worldwide. She is the newest addition to Audubon Zoo, but she is in New Orleans for a job.

Bonnie is on a breeding loan. She will be introduced to Saba in few weeks with hopes of producing some little rhinos.

Trainer Johnny Hodge says their courtship is a slightly different from what humans go through.

“It’s a lot of sparing a lot of fighting before we actually get a present from a female, so it gets really violent at first and then everything happens,” he said.

White rhinos carry their babies for 16 months and usual give birth to a newborn weighing about 120 pounds.

So far Bonnie is adapting to her surroundings, and according to trainer Hodge it’s going well.

“She loves the girls. She loves attention. She is just a very easy rhino so far,” he said.

“It’s fun to see when the bound with you and when they hear your voice. Vision is their poorest sense. Hearing and smell is their best, so their ears can pivot at 360 degrees, so they can hear everything.”

You can see Bonnie and the rest of the rhinoceros family at the Audubon Zoo Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.