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12 March 2010, 10:37 | Updated: 12 March 2010, 11:07
Keepers at Port Lympe have welcomed a three year old female black rhino to the Wild Animal Park.
Zawadi has come all the way from Berlin Zoo and arrived in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Moving her crate into the right place was a challenging task involving the whole Rhino team, mechanics, the Animal Director, the onsite vet, tractors, trailers, chains and a 13’ forklift truck.
Zawadi’s mother is expecting another baby, so it came the time for her daughter to leave her side, just as she would in the wild, and Port Lympne was the lucky wildlife establishment chosen to be her new home.
Zawadi, whose name means ‘gift’ in Swahili, will benefit from the company of the other young rhinos that have been born at the park.
She is also unrelated to any of the black rhinos at Howletts and Port Lympne, which is really important to ensure the continuing genetic diversity and success of The Aspinall Foundation’s captive breeding programmes.
Paul's looked after Port Lympe's Rhinos for 15 years:
"She seems to have travelled quite well and hopefully she will settle in quickly and mix with our other young rhino. It’s always a massive logistical operation when moving such big animals. The crate she arrived in weighed in at around 1.5 tonnes but with the help of the entire team the whole unloading went well with minimal stress to Zawadi"
"We have to keep her in the enclosure where we unloaded her for a couple of weeks so we can worm her and double check that everything is ok and while she gets used to us and her new surroundings".
Black Rhinos are critically endangered. Numbers have declined by a staggering 90% over the last three generations, due mainly to poaching for their horns, which are used ornamentally and in traditional Chinese medicine.