PJ the rhino is getting some pampering, courtesy of a local partner of the Central Florida Zoo—and it could help other zoos and animals across the country.
FutureCow, a farm equipment manufacturer in Sanford, recently partnered with the Zoo to create a custom-built brush for PJ, a greater one-horned rhino. FutureCow specializes in engineering reliable products to improve the health and well-being of farm animals. The ComfortBrush is one of their most popular products, designed to clean and exfoliate the skin of cows.
The only problem? Rhinos are considerably bigger than bovine.
Dairy cows are about five to six feet tall and weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Greater one-horned rhinos can reach six-and-a-half feet tall, and PJ currently weighs upwards of 3,000 pounds.
FutureCow made several visits to the Zoo to obtain specific measurements, designing a larger and more durable version of the product. FutureCow could use this work to expand its product line to “scratch the itch” of other Zoo residents, including goats and giraffes. It could be useful to zoos across the country in providing enrichment for animals.
Dino Ferri, CEO of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, said those at the Central Florida Zoo are honored to be part of developing these products with FutureCow.
“We’re thrilled about this partnership with a local company based right here in Seminole County,” Ferri said. “It’s a win-win situation. They’ve created a dynamic, interactive enrichment item for one of our largest animals, and it helps showcase a locally owned company to zoos everywhere.”
Since installation, FutureCow has made minor modifications to improve PJ’s interactions with the brush. With its motion sensor, the brush begins to rotate any time PJ approaches it, and he is able to interact with it whenever he chooses.
“We are proud to support a local business that shares our goal to provide comfort to the animals under their care,” said Kevin Dole, President of FutureCow. “Customizing our popular ComfortBrush to meet the needs of an animal PJ’s size was a challenge our engineering and production teams enjoyed solving.”
Guests can visit PJ and see his ComfortBrush when visiting the Zoo, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To reserve tickets, visit www.centralfloridazoo.org/tickets.
For video of PJ, the greater one-horned rhino, interacting with his brush, click the link here.
FutureCow is the industry expert in cow health and animal comfort. FutureCow designs and builds products that add value to farms and farmers, while always focusing on improving the well-being of their animals. For more information on FutureCow, visit www.futurecow.com.