Zoo Miami and the Zoological Society of Florida are proud to introduce to you
the Zoo Squad!
This cast of characters is coming very soon to Zoo Miami. Kaz the black rhino, Pio the red-billed oxpecker and Gigi the giraffe will delight you with their charm, unique personalities, lovable looks and good work! Our mission is for these characters to entertain you and enhance your visit to the zoo so that you’ll share in their appreciation for the world’s wildlife and their need to protect it for future generations.
Kaz, the only specially trained Black rhino in the world, assists rhino protection staff in Africa and other law-enforcement personnel in their efforts to stop rhino poaching. Also known as a “K-Rhino,” Kaz is much like a “K-9” dog who has come to Zoo Miami on official training conservation business. He serves as an ambassador to the thousands of dedicated, passionate rangers in Africa, standing in between the rhinos and the poachers in Operation Stop Poaching Now, a real program that Zoo Miami supports through the International Rhino Foundation.
Born on a Hunting Reserve in Africa, Gigi was saved when she was adopted through the Zoological Society of Florida’s Adopt-An-Animal program. As the spokesgiraffe and animal ambassador for the program, Gigi is well-rounded in the arts and loves adventures too! Her hobbies include, but are not limited to: acting, gardening, cooking, drawing, photography, painting and dancing. She enjoys ballet so much that she wears her ballet slippers even in bed!
Pio, a red-billed oxpecker from Africa, came to Zoo Miami (unbeknownst!) when Kaz was in transport. Pio was busy cleaning Kaz’s ear so no one saw him. Kaz has had Pio with him for as long as he can remember. Kaz recognizes that Pio helps him out a lot by keeping the pests off him, but sometimes he just wants some peace and quiet from all of the jokes Pio is always telling.
Be on the LOOKOUT!!!!!!!!!!
Keep your eyes and
ears wide open for the arrival of the Zoo Squad to Zoo Miami! Very soon, you’ll
be able to meet them, greet them, take your picture with them and much more!
They can’t wait to interact with you and have YOU join their Zoo Squad!
Habitat: African grasslands, savannas and tropical bush lands. Kaz, Gigi and Pio will live at the new Zoo Squadron at Zoo Miami.
Diet: Leaves from trees and shrubs. (Kaz loves ice-cream too!)
Size: Height at shoulder, 4.5-6 feet.
Weight: 1,760-3,080 lbs. (Kaz is in tip-top shape, so he weighs less!)
Status: Critically Endangered. (Kaz is the only one of his kind. We are so lucky!)
Life Span: 30-35 years in the wild and more than 45 years in captivity.
Social Structure: Semi-social and territorial. Females generally are social, but bulls (males) are typically solitary. (Kaz prefers to be with people and has trouble finding time away from Gigi and especially Pio!)
Habitat: African savannas, grasslands and open woodlands.
Diet: Leaves from trees. (Gigi can’t get enough of Zoo Miami’s veggie burgers!)
Size: Between 13–18 feet tall. Look up!
Weight: Between 1,200 – 4,300 lbs. (Gigi’s dancing keeps her fit!)
Status: Common, but nothing about Gigi is ordinary!
Life Span: 13 years in the wild. Their cousins in captivity can live up to 25 years, but Gigi won’t reveal her age!
Social Structure: Female giraffes associate in groups and Gigi
loves her company!
Habitat: African open country on host animals (like Kaz).Oxpeckers
also nest in tree holes lined with fur from their host animal. (Poor Kaz is
developing a bald spot!)
Diet: Insects and ticks. (Pio prefers rare
hamburgers- hold the bun- from Zoo Miami.)
Size: medium-sized bird, 20 cm long with strong feet.
Weight: Pio is a featherweight (pun intended), but Kaz
thinks he weighs a ton after having him on him in and day out!
Status: Common, but one that talks (too much) and is a
jokester like Pio is RARE!
Life Span:15 years in the wild.
Social Structure: Fairly gregarious. (Pio is a complete social