Taiwan white rhino learning Japanese ahead of overseas ‘marriage’

Five-year-old Emma is preparing for love overseas, becoming the first rhino in Taiwan to be sent abroad for breeding. (Photo courtesy of Kong Hsiang-hua)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — A Taiwanese white rhino named Emma is preparing to find love overseas as she sets to become the first rhino sent abroad for breeding in Taiwan.

Born in Hsinchu’s Leofoo Safari Park in December 2015, five-year-old Emma is set to journey to Japan’s Tobu Zoo (東武動物公園) in Saitama (埼玉市) where a 10-year-old rhino, Moran (莫蘭), is waiting to become her first suitor.

As the host of the largest and most successful rhino-breeding program in Asia, Leofoo Safari Park imported 8 rhinos from Africa in 1979 and managed to increase the herd to 23 rhinos as of 2021.

Five-year-old Emma is preparing for love overseas, becoming the first rhino in Taiwan to be sent abroad for breeding. (Photo courtesy of Chuang Foo Foundation)

To prepare Emma for the trip, Leofoo Safari Park has started having zookeepers incorporate Japanese instructions to her commands such as “come” and “no” according to local media.

Leofoo park officials explained that this was to help her adjust quicker when she arrives in Japan sometime in late April.

In addition, Emma was also trained to get accustomed to “outdoor sounds” including aircraft engines and trucks, to prepare her for the upcoming journey.

The Chuang Foo Foundation (莊福文化教育基金會) also reported that Emma has successfully spent a peaceful night in her travel carriage, and added that a veterinarian will arrive in Japan two weeks prior to Emma to ensure that everything is set for her rehabilitation.