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SOS Rhino : In the News : Zoo group pledges $2 million for elephant-rhino project

Zoo group pledges $2 million for elephant-rhino project


Associated Press
Wed, Mar. 05, 2003

ASHEBORO, N.C. - A group has pledged $2 million to help the North Carolina Zoo's project to expand exhibits of elephants and rhinos, the zoo said Wednesday.

The Randolph Friends of the Zoo, a community volunteer group in Randolph County where the zoo is located, made the commitment during a Tuesday board meeting.

The group pledged $1.06 million it already has raised and said it would raise an additional $934,000.

"This is a major step in the North Carolina Zoological Society's $6 million elephant-rhino campaign," said Russ Williams, the society's executive director.

The zoo's elephants and rhinos are currently exhibited in adjacent 3.5-acre outdoor habitats. Both species share an off-exhibit holding barn. The new exhibit will provide larger exhibit areas for both species as well as separate barns.

The project will create the potential to exhibit as many as 11 elephants and 11 rhinos of varying ages. The zoo currently has two elephants and four rhinos.

Officials said the project also will enable the zoo to play a role in breeding both species, whose populations are declining in Africa.



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