Rhino Week at the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford
Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford has staged a special Rhino Week to give visitors the chance to find out more about the lives and global situation of these fascinating animals.
The park, which is currently home to one male, Monty, and two female Southern White Rhinos, Ruby and Nancy, is working with the Tusk Trust to promote their conservation work.
The park has had a long-term relationship with the Tusk Trust as it is a charity which is very close to the owner, Reggie Heyworth.
The rhino-themed week, which runs until Saturday September 15, will feature a rhino talk every day at 2pm at the dedicated building which houses these horned giants of the African savannahs.
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Visitors will also be able to take part in a special Rhino Trail around the park in aid of the Tusk Trust and one lucky visitor, drawn at random from the completed trail sheets, will even be able to meet Monty and his keeper.
Debbie Ryan, spokeswoman for Cotswold Wildlife Park, said: "The main focus of Rhino Week is to highlight the important conservation work of these incredible animals and raise awareness of these incredible animals.
"We want to raise awareness of the plight of the rhinos in their native homeland of Africa."
Once the rarest subspecies of any rhino, the Southern White Rhino was almost wiped out by hunters and farmers in the early 1900s, when only about 20 to 50 animals remained.
They were on the brink of extinction but thanks to excellent and sustained protection, they are now the most common of all the rhino subspecies.
Official figures suggest that the Southern White Rhino population is now around 18,000. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the Northern White Rhino, which is officially listed as Critically Endangered and is on the brink of extinction.
The West African Black Rhino is feared extinct. Poaching for rhino horn is the main cause of their demise.
Ruby and Nancy came to the Cotswold Wildlife Park from Africa and were born in captivity. Monty came from Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside.
Rhino facts and figures:
- The name "rhinoceros" translates directly from Greek as "nose-horn".
- White Rhinos are the largest of the rhino species and range through the grasslands of Eastern and Southern Africa.
- Males are larger than females and can be up to four metres long, six feet high at the shoulder and weigh up to 3.5 tonnes.
- Females reproduce only every two-and-a-half to five years. Their single calf does not live on its own until it is about three years old.
- White rhinoceroses are the most social of all rhinoceroses.