Rhino Awareness Day Set

Wednesday, May 21st 2008, 11:30 pm
By: News On 6

If you're looking for an activity for the whole family this Memorial Day weekend, look no further than the Tulsa Zoo.

"This Saturday we actually have Rhino Awareness Day.  From 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., you can come out and meet these guys and get a better appreciation for these guys," said zookeeper Jessica Scallan.

Jessica says rhinos are often misunderstood because of their size, a mere 5,000 pounds, and their pre-historic appearance.

"Their eyesight is kind of poor.  Many people when they watch footage they see a rhino charging a van, it's because if you can't see well the best defense mechanism is to look big and scare them away. They do hear very well. They have great sense of smell.  They have a good sense of touch," said zookeeper Jessica Scallan.

Of course the rhinos are known for their horns, but you'll never guess what they're made of.

"Their horns are actually made of keratinized nail, kind of like your fingernail woven together really tightly. Not made of bone," said zookeeper Jessica Scallan.

Wednesday the zoo was packed with students on end of the year field trips.  Eighth grader Nicole Blair wasn't too sure about getting too close.

"They're scary but they're so cute and fat," said Nicole Blair.

But after a couple of bonding moments, she was a big fan of the rhino.