A one-tonne male black rhino has arrived at Paignton Zoo – by air.
A giant crane was used to lift new rhino Manyara into the paddock of the zoo’s rhino house. The 20 tonne crane manoeuvred the rhino and his travelling crate which together weighed nearly three tonnes.
Manyara is almost eight years old and has arrrived to Paignton Zoo from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent, where he was born in September 2002. He weighs in at 1.1 tonnes and is said to have a calm and friendly character.
He was brought from Kent overnight by Dutch specialist animal carriers Ekipa International Transport, with the road journey taking some six hours. The lift to get him into his new home started at about 7.30am on Thursday, June 17 and took about two hours.
He joins female Sita, who is 10 years old and arrived at Paignton Zoo in 2002 from Berlin Zoo. Three-year-old female Zuri – the first black rhino to be born at Paignton Zoo – is still too young to breed. Manyara and Sita are part of the coordinated European Endangered species Programme (EEP) for black rhino.
Black rhinos are solitary creatures (except for mothers with young) so the pair – plus Zuri – will live in separate parts of the rhino complex.
All five species of rhino are endangered. Black rhinos suffered a population decline of 96 per cent during the 1970s and 80s. There are now thought to be no more than 4,000 black rhino scattered through east and southern Africa. Paignton Zoo, a registered charity, supports practical rhino conservation work in Zimbabwe and also funds work in Malawi.
(from a press release)