No time like the present for rhinos

Christmas has come early for greater one-horned rhino calf Zhiwa and her mum Behan, after zookeepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo gave them giant, festive, gift-boxes filled with their favourite foods. 

Three-year-old Zhiwa and her mum woke up to the colourful Christmas presents, each brimming with hay, cabbage and carrots, at the UK’s largest Zoo.  

The curious pair ran straight towards the brightly painted packages, sparing no time digging into the delicious, edible surprises within. 

Team leader Mark Holden said: “We knew that Behan and her three-year-old daughter Zhiwa would be just as thrilled by an early Christmas present as the rest of us, so we filled the rhino-sized gift boxes to the brim with their absolute favourite, veggie treats. 

“Rhinos aren’t known for eating delicately, so we weren’t surprised to see them demolish their presents as they consumed the treats within! 

“We’re hoping Zhiwa and Behan will get lots of visits from adventurous families wanting to make festive memories in the great outdoors this Christmas season.” 

Visitors can see Zhiwa, as well as baby elephant Nang Phaya and 10,000 other animals, throughout December, and enjoy a wonderful winter’s day out at Whipsnade Zoo. The conservation Zoo is open every day except Christmas Day. Book tickets today!

For a behind-the-scenes look at how zookeepers at Whipsnade and London Zoo get ready for Christmas, tune in to Channel 4’s festive special London Zoo at Christmas – airing at 8pm on Friday 23 December. 

Visit Whipsnade Zoo this Christmas


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