Kansas City Zoo keeps special rhino hidden from public

August 17, 2018 - 6:08 pm

The Kansas City Zoo has a special rhino that's kept hidden from the public.

An eastern black rhinoceros named Imara spends all day inside a barn or a small shaded pen because of a skin condition that makes it dangerous to be in the sun.

Kirk Suedmeyer is the zoo's head veterinarian. He says Imara has a loss of melanin granules in the basal layer of her skin, making her vulnerable to direct sunlight.

Zoo keepers noticed one of Imara's nostrils turned pink when she was 2 years old. Suedmeyer says the pink coloring progressed to her limbs and a biopsy revealed her condition.

Animal manager Katie Muninger calls Imara a "special rhino," saying zookeepers have a special bond with her from socializing daily.

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