COAL VALLEY, Ill. — The Niabi Zoo is holding a charity auction to help fund a campaign to bring a new and rare species under its wing.
Starting Monday, February 1, a live auction will be active at YourCharityAuction.com./NiabiZoo to help raise $50,000 as part of the second half of a campaign to bring Southern White Rhinos to the zoo.
Items up for grab at the event include trips, sports memorabilia, electronics, animal-themed baskets and gifts, artwork from local artists, and more.
“Zoo staff have been very busy over the last couple of months getting everything ready for the arrival of this iconic species, but there is still much to do. We are counting on the continued generous support of this amazing community to help us bring these wonderful animals to the Quad Cities. We are halfway there!” said zoo director Lee Jackson.
Southern White Rhinos are a species who's continued thriving is a testament to dedicated conservation effort. In the early 1900s, the species was known to have fewer then 50 living members, and came to the brink of extinction. Thanks to intense conservation efforts, the population was able to grow back up to about 18,000; avoiding the tragic fate that befell their relatives, the Western Black Rhino and Northern White Rhino, which went extinct in 2011 and 2018, respectively.
Standard donations also remain open at www.niabizoo.com.