San Diego Zoo rhino has a spa day

Nola, the 40 year old Northern white rhino from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park enjoyed a pampering session today including a pedicure. Keepers Jane Kennedy and Mary Weber-Evans gave her a scratch and a rub down while Ken McCaffree trimmed the nails of the 4,000 pound (1,814kg) rhino.

Nola is feeling much better and enjoying extra-special care from her keepers following her recent sinus infection.

Wild rhinos don’t need a pedicure as their nails will wear down through walking but recently Nolas nails have been growing at faster rate. So she is in optimal health keepers have been giving Nola her spa treatment every three weeks.


Nola is the only rhino at the park who needs to have pedicures. Most sessions last 30 minutes with keepers using the same tool used to trim horse hooves. Nola is the boss of the sessions choosing when they end by getting up and walking away.

Nolas mate Angalifu passed away late last year at 44 years of age.

Only five Northern White rhinos are left on Earth with none remaining in the wild. Three of the rhinos live at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya and the other is at Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic. All these rhinos are getting on and have not reproduced.

This species has been brought to its knees due to poaching for its horn.

Photo Credit: Ken Bohn/ San Diego Zoo Safari Park

By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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