New Rhino at Woburn

23 April 2010, 06:00

A new rhino's arrived at Woburn Safari Park.

18-year-old Miriam came over from Holland earlier this week. There were a few problems with her at customs - she missed her first ferry because, due to a mix up with paper work, the ferry company was only expecting the large crate that she's transported in - and not an actual rhino.

But she finally arrived on Tuesday evening at Woburn and was in her new house by about 10pm.

Miriam's a White Rhino and is part of the European Breeding Programme. It's hoped she'll mate with one of the male Rhinos at the park, partly to increase the numbers of white rhino, but also because it can be bad for a female rhino's health if they don't have calves.

Jake Veasey - Head of Animal Management and Conservation at Woburn Safari Park - told Heart:

"I'm very confident that we will have baby rhino here at Woburn. Who they're going to come from first is difficult to say. We had two younger females arrive a few months ago and our bull, Arthur, has been showing a great deal of interest in them, so we've got our fingers crossed for that. So I would guess it's going to be our youngsters, but we are hopeful that we can do something with Miriam. She's got to loose a little bit of weight but it would be really fantastic to get her to breed."

The Breeding Programme also extends to the elephants at the Safari Park - and Dr Veasey says the race is on to see which will be successful first:

"Obviously we've got Yu Zin the elephant who's arrived as well, so there's a little bit of competition between our elephant keepers and our rhino keepers as to who can get a baby the soonest."

Miriam is settling in to her new home at the moment. She'll be introduced to the rest of the herd slowly before she's allowed to roam outside in the park.