LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Staff members at Lufkin's Ellen Trout Zoo are playing matchmaker these days.
A 4,300-pound female white rhinoceros named Paddy became the zoo's newest addition on Tuesday morning. Paddy will be paired with Bwana, a 20-year-old male rhinoceros currently on exhibit at the Ellen Trout Zoo.
According to a press release, Paddy is a transfer from the Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, Florida. The 19-year-old white rhinoceros' long journey across the Southern US states started at 2 p.m. Monday.
"This move was a recommendation of the Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and follows the move of stormy from the Ellen Trout Zoo to the North Carolina Zoo last June," said Gordon Henley, the director of the Ellen Trout Zoo.
The current Species Survival Plan white rhinoceros population is at 195 - 82 males and 113 females at 51 institutions.
Paddy, who was born at Lion Country Safari, will be getting used to her new surroundings before she is allowed to go on exhibit at the Ellen Trout Zoo.
Henley said transferring Paddy to her new East Texas digs was "quite a process." He thanked Lufkin Street Superintendent Steve Poskey, Lufkin Water and Sewer Superintendent Ramon Johnson, Angelina Hardwood Sales owner Trey Henderson, George H. Henderson Expo Center Director Burt Hairgrove, the Friends of the Ellen Trout Zoo, and zoo staffers for their help in bringing Paddy to Lufkin.