Rhino on the move
Thursday 15 December 2005
It was all hands on deck in the Africa section last month when it was decided to move Whipsnade's only black rhino up to Chester Zoo.
Quinto and a female black rhino, Saya, were at Whipsnade as part of the European breeding programme but unfortunately it was found that Saya suffered from a longstanding liver condition which eventually caused her death. To ensure that Quinto could continue to contribute to the conservation of this species, the decision was taken to move him to Chester Zoo where he will be paired with new mates.
Quinto was always a favourite with the staff who cared for him. He enjoyed the close interaction he had with his keepers who provided him with browse (cut branches from trees), behavioural enrichment and a good wash and scrub!
Moving an animal as large and as sensitive as Quinto was a complicated project and one that required a substantial amount of planning, expertise and time. Although Whipsnade was very sad to see him go, we know that he will have the best opportunity to breed at his new home and it is the right decision for him and the species as a whole.
This kind of co-operative activity occurs continually between zoos, scientists and conservationists in the field, it ensures that we are all working towards the united goal of conserving endangered species and their habitats.
ZSL has a black rhino conservation project in Kenya, which involves training wildlife rangers and monitoring all the remaining 450 or so black rhinos in the country to record population changes following the crash in the 1980s and 90s when 85% of the population was lost to hunters.