Watch Ryan O. Feed a Rhino at Mesker Park Zoo [VIDEO]
Not many people can say they know what the inside of a rhinoceros’ mouth feels like, but I can.
A couple of weeks ago, a few co-workers and I had the chance to take a little behind the scenes tour of Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden, part of which involved feeding the Zoo’s resident rhino, Mechi (pronounced Mee-chee).
You would think a massive beast like Mechi, who weighs well north of a thousand pounds, would eat something like whole animals, but that’s not the case at all. A good portion of her diet is mostly hay and grass while she also enjoys apples and sweet potato chunks like what we given to feed her with during our experience.
As you can see in the video below, Mechi has a funky looking upper lip which is called a prehensile lip. This means she uses it like a finger to reach out and grab food and shove it into her mouth, much like an elephant does with it’s trunk.
The inside of Mechi’s mouth feels as you expect it would — slimy, thanks to the ridiculous amount of drool she produces. As you’ll see in the video, I didn’t have plans to actually feed Mechi until Bobby G. from our sister-station, 103GBF called me out. Well, then I had to, right?