Africa Alive! is delighted to announce the arrival of two southern white rhino. On the 24th and 25th of April, Africa Alive! received two new southern white rhino. One was a female named Tootsie from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and the other, was a young male called Zimba from Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire. Both have been sent to us on the recommendation of the coordinator for the European breeding programme for this species. Both Tootsie and Zimba are a good example of the way zoo’s work together and pool their resources in order to increase the breeding potential of the animals in their care.
Co-ordinated breeding programmes and well run studbooks have contributed greatly in helping the zoo community to pool all the resources that they have available to them and utilise their expertise, knowledge and experience to not only successfully breed and manage the species in their care, but also to be involved and be able to assist in, all areas of animal conservation.
Moving a rhino takes a reasonable amount of planning and expense and moving two, doubly so. Cranes have to be organised to both load and unload the large travelling crate onto the bed of a low loader and a transport company experienced in moving rhino has to be employed to carry out the transport. Fortunately, we always use the same local company ‘Wave Trade’ to load and unload all of our rhino and so they are very experienced and know precisely what is needed.
As a testament to everyone involved, both rhino arrived safely and in good health and Tootsie has already been successfully introduced to both our resident females Norma and Njiri. They are now starting to form a bond, which is important for the females to have between them and we are now in the process of getting Zimba used to being out in our spacious ‘Plains of Africa’ facility and mixing with our reticulated giraffe, plains zebra, blesbok antelope and ostrich, before we introduce him to the three girls. We are very much looking forward with anticipation, to the forthcoming year and Zimba’s first full season in with Norma, Njiri and Tootsie.