A common summertime activity with your family in Sioux Falls is visiting the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History. There are so many animals to discover! However, zoo patrons might notice some familiar faces are missing.

An eastern black rhinoceros named Komati and a reticulated giraffe named Solstice have been relocated to zoos located in Florida and Oklahoma. Officials with the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History made the bittersweet announcement on Monday, June 5th.

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So why won't zoo visitors see their friends Komati and Solstice? The staff at the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History explain it's part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Giraffe and Black Rhino Species Survival Plan. Our news partners at Dakota News Now are reporting the Oklahoma and Florida zoos are accredited Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) programs. Essentially, Komati and Solstice are helping eastern black rhinoceroses named reticulated giraffes survive and thrive. Great Plains Zoo CEO Becky Dewitz tells Dakota News Now, “Species survival breeding programs are essential to ensure genetic diversity and the physical health of the animals in our care. As an AZA-accredited zoo, we are dedicated to supporting SSP programs within our AZA community.”

The story of the eastern black rhinoceros, Komati is so sweet. Komatic was born at the Great Plains Zoo in 2016 and is the third calf of parents Imara and Jubba.  Solstice's name is quite fitting as well! Solice was born during the winter solstice in 2008. The other giraffes at the Great Plains Zoo, Chioke and Olivia Dee, will remain at the facility, as well as Komati’s parents, Imara and Jubba. More details on the story can be found here.

Sioux Falls going to miss Komati and Solstice!


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