Wildlife World Zoo welcomes three endangered White Rhinos

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(Source: Wildlife World Zoo) (Source: Wildlife World Zoo)
(Source: Wildlife World Zoo) (Source: Wildlife World Zoo)
(Source: Wildlife World Zoo) (Source: Wildlife World Zoo)
LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Three endangered White Rhinos are finally arriving at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park.

The Wildlife World Zoo will house the three adolescent female rhinos in its new rhino facility that will open alongside the new 9-acre Safari Park expansion in early 2018. In the meantime, Zoo visitors will not be able to visit the rhinos while they settle into their new home.

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"It’s my hope that through education and awareness, we can work together in the fight for the rhino’s survival to guarantee a viable genetic population and ensure that no more rhino species go extinct. If the persecution of this species continues, we will likely see the rhino go extinct within our lifetime," says Mickey Ollson, Director & Founder of Wildlife World.

In the words of Jack Ewert, Wildlife World's Deputy Director, "It's immensely rewarding to know that Wildlife World had the resources and capabilities to get these girls out of Africa where they are no longer at risk of being slaughtered by poachers. It feels great to know that all our hard work has finally paid off and we’ve probably saved their lives.”

[RELATED: Phoenix Zoo says goodbye to beloved 45-year-old rhino]

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The Rhinoceros is currently the world’s most endangered species, with the number of rhinos living in the wild having decreased from 500,000 in the early 20th Century to about 29,000 in the modern day. Rhinos are highly valued for their ivory tusks and are a popular target for poachers. Although ivory is just made up from keratin, the same thing as our hair and nails, it is so popular on the black market that armed guards are instructed to “shoot on site” to protect the rhinos.

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