“As far as first dates go, it was extraordinary. After connecting online, Nia traveled last October from her place in Cleveland, Ohio, to meet up with jaali at his home in Lansing, Michigan. The pair then spent a few days traveling across the country together, concluding their trip in Palm Desert, where Nia and Jaali moved into a $17 million home constructed especially for them. While that sounds super-duper romantic, the couple actually spent their entire trip and subsequent time living together separately. That’s because Jaali (pronounced Jolly) and Nia (pronounced Ny-a) are solitary creatures, more specifically, a pair of young black rhinoceros born respectively at Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Rhinos have poor eyesight and rely mostly on their strong sense of smell.
The duo aren’t merely the namesake and star attraction at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ new Rhino Savanna, which opened to the public last November. Jaali and Nia were matched by an Association of Zoos and Aquariums initiative that works to ensure genetic sustainability and diversity among animal populations. Together, they represent the hope of strengthening and educating the public about the critically endangered species…”