Award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park is about to welcome two critically endangered black rhinos.
The two-year-olds – Hodari and Dayo – are destined to become star attractions in the new Into Africa reserve, which gives visitors amazing views of mixed African wildlife including eland antelope, endangered Grevy’s Zebra, Lechwe antelope, ostrich and some other visitor favourites – the four giraffes, Behansin, Palle, Jambo and Jengo.
The news comes on World Rhino Day (22/9) which celebrates the five species of the animal and unites efforts to preserve the endangered species.
The park, at Branton, near Doncaster, is putting the final touches in place that will see the pair move from Berlin Zoo to their new home in Yorkshire as they reach their second birthday and are successfully weaned from their mothers.
The pair of young male rhinos are due to arrive in October and settle into their surroundings to mark another triumph for the park which is committed to conserving at risk species. The rhinos will travel by road to YWP next month.
“We are really excited about the rhinos arrival and have worked hard to make it a smooth transition for them.” said Animal Collection Manager Simon Marsh.Simon Marsh, Animal Collection Manager
Black rhinos were almost extinct in 2011 until concerted efforts around the globe brought them back from the brink and numbers have grown to around 5,000.
Their population declined by 96% to 2,300 from a devastating period of poaching for their horns which are used to make ornamental crowns, cups and ceremonial daggers as well as for herbal medicine. Demand for rhino horn is still rising.
YWP, which puts conservation at the heart of all its activities, will be only the seventh zoo in the UK to provide a home for the species.
The park, one of the UK’s fastest growing and most innovative attractions, brings visitors almost face to face with some of the world’s most rare and beautiful animals. It has a unique collection of animals including Amur Leopards and Tigers, Lions, the country’s only Polar Bears, Squirrel Monkeys, Anteaters, and many more.
It is the perfect place to come for a fun packed family day – with a weather proof Monkey Play Barn offering adults the chance to relax in the warm 120 seater café while children enjoy three levels of play equipment – in full view of the baboon reserve through a glass wall.
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