With the country two weeks into a second lockdown and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's gates closed once again, the Zoo’s southern white rhinos have certainly been keeping themselves busy behind the scenes – demonstrating the success of a recent matchmaking bid.
32-year-old Sizzle and nine-year-old Jaseera were recently introduced for the first time after the female, along with three-year-old Fahari, arrived at the Zoo in August as part of the EEP conservation breeding programme for the Near Threatened species.
Zookeeper Charlotte Lancey, who snapped the pic to update colleagues said; “Sizzle is definitely taking his role in the breeding programme seriously!
“Following weeks of friendly grunting, snorting and a few tussles as they get acquainted with each other we are delighted that the introduction between Sizzle and Jaseera has been so positive.”
ZSL is aiming to raise £1million through public support to cover the cost of caring for animals like Sizzle and Jaseera during November’s lockdown, and has set up a public donation site at zsl.org/donate.
Charlotte Lancey continued; “With numbers of rhinos in decline globally, zoos are playing a crucial role in ensuring a future for the species, but it’s too soon to be able to see if Sizzle’s amorous encounters have been successful. Lancey added: “We have no way of knowing yet if Sizzle has impregnated Jaseera, but a birth would be a huge cause for celebration. It’s another reminder of the important work we’re doing – albeit behind closed doors again.”