White Rhinoceros

  • A rhino’s horn is not attached to the skull. It grows from the skin and is made of same material as our fingernails.
  • Unlike other rhino species, white rhino females travel in groups, which move between male patrolled territories.
  • South Africa has approximately 80% of the world’s population of white rhinos. Their numbers are increasing each year due to careful conservation of habitat and harsh enforcement of poaching laws

African Lion

  • Second largest living cat after the tiger.
  • Lions are the only members of the cat family to display obvious sexual dimorphism—that is, males and females look distinctly different.
  • The cubs are blind when they are born.
  • A pride consists of up to 3 males, a dozen or so females and their young. Pride’s lionesses are related and female young usually stay with their pride.
  • Cubs can nurse from any female in the pride, not just their mother.
  • Lions sleep up to 21 hours a day
  • Lions walk about 2.4 miles/hour, but can run 29-35 mph
  • Loose belly skin allows the lion to be kicked by prey with little chance of injury
  • A single lion needs approximately 10-20 large animals per year to sustain it.


  • A giraffe’s heart can pump 16 gallons (61 l) of blood in one minute!
  • Giraffes have the largest eyes of any land mammal!
  • Other animals on the savanna (such as zebras, ostriches, antelopes) use giraffes as watchtowers or observation posts for predators!
  • Giraffes have one of the highest blood pressures of all animals, due to their height and the large size of their heart. Because of this, their veins and arteries are much thicker compared to other large mammals!
  • Giraffe necks contain 7 elongated vertebrae (up to 10 inches long each). Giraffes have a steeply sloping back from the shoulders to the rump.
  • Giraffes feed and drink during the morning and evening. During the hot midday, giraffes usually chew their cud.
  • Giraffes rest at night while standing up. When resting, the head lies on a hind leg, with the neck forming an impressive arch. Giraffes sleep standing up but can occasionally lie down. Giraffes that are resting lightly remain in a fully upright position, with half-closed eyes, and ears continuing to twitch.
  • Giraffes are fast moving mammals, reaching speeds from 32 to 60 km/h (up to 35 mph). They can sprint for considerable distances.
  • Giraffes are host to troublesome ticks. Oxpecker birds (Buphagus africanus) rests on the backs and necks of giraffes, removing the ticks from the giraffe skin. There is a mutually beneficial relationship between giraffes and oxpecker birds.
  • Necks are 6 feet long and weigh approximately 600 pounds. Their legs are around 6 feet long. Their heart is 2 feet long and weighs about 25 pounds.
  • They eat 75 pounds of food a day.
  • Their tongue is 18 inches long and dark in color to prevent sunburn.
  • The giraffe has an extremely high blood pressure (280/180 mm Hg) which is twice that found in humans. Additionally, the heart beats up to 170 times per minute double that of humans. It was previously thought that a giraffe had a really big heart, but recent research has revealed that there isn’t room in the body cavity for this. Instead, the giraffe has a relatively small heart and its power comes from a very strong beat as a result of the incredibly thick walls of the left ventricle.
  • The horns on their head can be used for sparring among males.

Mexican Axolotl

  • Most remain in the larval stage throughout adulthood, maintaining their gills.
  • Axolotls are being studied heavily by scientists because they have the ability to regenerate missing limbs, as well as have a very quick healing time
  • The word “axolotl” comes from the native Aztec language. It roughly translates to: water sprite.
  • Closest relative is the Eastern Tiger Salamander

Taveta Golden Weaver

  • Weavers get their name by the elaborate woven nests that they build
  • Very noisy birds that chatter constantly
  • It builds spherical grass nests, usually suspended over water.

Black Swan

  • Can whistle
  • Babies ride on the parents backs until time to fledge
  • Adults female is called a pen and an adult male is called a cob
  • A baby is called a cygnet
  • Swans molt once a year during which time they are flightless.
  • They mate for life and nest in colonies with both birds building the nest.
  • They are the only entirely black colored swan in the world.


  • Takins, like giant pandas, are considered national treasures in China.
  • It is believed that the “golden fleece” sought by Jason in Greek mythology was a Shensi, or golden Takin pelt
  • Takins have been known to jump 6-foot zoo walls from a standing start
  • As they move up, down, or across the mountains, Takins use the same routes over and over.
  • Within three days of its birth, a Takin kid is able to follow its mother through most types of terrain.
  • Because of their large, powerful bodies and impressive horns, Takins have few natural enemies other than bears or wolves
  • When needed, a Takin can leap nimbly from rock to rock. If a Takin senses danger, it warns the others with a loud “cough” that sends the herd running for cover. Takins can also make an intimidating roar or bellow.
Peoria Zoo

Peoria Zoo