Eastern Black Rhino Female

Twycross Zoo welcomes critically endangered black rhinos this Easter

28th Jun 2023

We are expecting a rather large delivery – one that weighs almost a tonne and is critically endangered!

An adorable, female Eastern black rhinoceros, will be moving to Twycross Zoo in March, shortly followed by a male companion AND visitors will be able to say hello to the new arrivals from the Easter Holidays!

The arrival of Eastern black rhinoceros is part of an important European breeding programme which consists of over 20 zoos and wildlife parks from around the continent working together to help preserve the population and maintain genetic diversity of this incredible species.

The story of the black rhino species is both a unique and sad one, as the Western black rhino was declared extinct in 2011 by the IUCN Red List. Initially the Black rhino was the most common of all rhinos, however, due to illegal hunting and the demand for rhino horn increasing, the species suffered a 98% reduction in the 20th century.

Now, thanks to efforts from other conservation organisations around the world, the Eastern black rhino population is increasing with numbers rising from less than 2500 to approximately 5,458 today, however there is still a lot of work to do.

Karen Clarke, Chief Operating Officer at Twycross Zoo, said: “The story of the black rhino is quite incredible and we are honoured to be part of a breeding programme which is helping to grow their population. The fact that Eastern black rhino numbers are now growing is testament to conservation experts all around the world and we are dedicated to continuing this hard work.

“We are currently preparing the new habitat ready for the arrival and we’re very excited for all our visitors who will get to see rhinos from this Easter.”

Did you this know this about Eastern black rhinos?

  • They have two horns
  • They sleep both stood up and sat down
  • They can run up 55km/h
  • Females are pregnant for 15-16 months
  • They are active at both day and night
  • They have a hooked lip and are sometimes known as a hook-lipped rhino
  • They are browsers (they eat trees, bushes and shrubs etc)
  • They have poor eyesight but an excellent sense of smell and hearing
  • They are around 1.5m tall when fully grown
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