New Rhino Facility Orana Wildlife Park to build new $500,000 rhino facility to help save animals from extinction in 2024 Christchurch's Orana Wildlife Park has joined an international bid to build an "insurance population" of endangered African rhinoceroses. The park will build a new rhino facility, estimated to cost $500,000, to house more of the animals and quarantine rhinos destined for Australia. "Poaching is out of control … demand is high as people become more affluent," said Orana's chief executive Lynn Anderson. "The poaching rate is now exceeding the [rhino] birth rate and, if things carry on, they might be extinct by 2024." The move was part of a joint project with The Australian Rhino Project, Zoos South Australia and Taronga Conservation Society in Sydney. Rhinos needed to be held for a period of time in New Zealand because of Australian biosecurity and quarantine requirements. Anderson said the new facility would increase the park's rhino capacity from eight to about 20. The park's youngest rhino, Tino, turned 3 years old on Wednesday. "It's just an awesome opportunity to save one of the world's most charismatic species." Anderson said poaching was so prolific people were attempting to cut the horns off rhinos in European zoos due to their supposed medicinal value – but the medicinal properties of the horns were equivalent to what was gained by "eating your fingernails". "Tragically it's a myth people in some countries believe." Orana has held and bred rhinos for more than 30 years as part of the Australasian-managed breeding programme. Four calves have been bred there, including the first rhino to be born in New Zealand. Australian Rhino Project chairman Allan Davies was delighted Orana agreed to help make the project a reality. "Orana Wildlife Park is the only open-range zoo in New Zealand and is well recognised for its breeding programmes for both endangered exotic and native species." The project was a registered Australian charity and relied on fundraising and other support. It had fundraised $23,000 towards establishing a rhino population in Australia.