LOCAL NEWS

Allergy-Suffering Rhino At Hogle Zoo Finds Relief With New Mask

Jul 6, 2018, 7:43 PM | Updated: 9:52 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A 39-year-old female southern white rhinoceros at Hogle Zoo has been suffering from allergies for years. A unique mask has changed that.

Hogle Zoo’s southern white rhino, Princess, has suffered from allergies for years.

Every spring, Princess’ eyes get red, swollen and irritated – just like thousands of other Utah residents. Zookeepers said the flies aggravate her symptoms.

It’s gotten worse over the last five years.

The zoo has tried everything from ointments to creams, but now they’ve got something new.

A new, first-of-its-kind rhino eye mask was unveiled by the zoo on Friday. It was several years in the making.

Melissa Farr has been the lead keeper of the Africa section. She said they’ve tried several different things to alleviate Princess’ suffering.

“I really didn’t know about how to do this at first. I thought I would just buy a couple of masks and ‘Frankenstein’ them together, but we wanted something that looked professional and didn’t look homemade,” said Farr.

Princess, age 39, shows off her new allergy mask at Hogle Zoo. Despite how it looks, she can see through the mask with no problems.

The zoo reached out to AA Callister, and they found a manufacturer.

Once the new mask arrived, they had to get Princess on board with the plan. They did this with a slow conditioning process.

At first it took a while to make her comfortable with the mask. Now it takes just a few minutes to strap it on.

Though the mask looked like it covered her face, keepers said Princess can see through the mask with no problems.

Zoo officials said, so far, so good.

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Allergy-Suffering Rhino At Hogle Zoo Finds Relief With New Mask