View from the Zoo: Excitement as Baringo joins zoo family
Baringo and the three existing females are part of a European breeding programme, which aims to conserve this critically endangered species. He joins Samira who is 16 years old, her daughter Olmoti who is three and our other female, Chenua who recently arrived from Chester zoo a few months ago.
The three girls have settled together very nicely and Baringo will be slowly but surely introduced into the herd over the next few weeks. After a long journey from Dvůr Králové he will most likely be spending the next few days sleeping and eating.
Baringo’s arrival is of vital importance to his species. Poaching black rhinos has resulted in a dramatic 96% decline from 70,000 individuals in 1970 to just 2,410 in the year 1995. Although, thanks to the successful efforts of conservation programmes across Africa, black rhino numbers have risen since then to a current population of between 5,042 and 5,458 individuals.
Importantly, their geographic range has also increased, with successful reintroduction programmes repopulating areas that had previously seen their native black rhinos entirely poached out in the 1970s and 80s.
Black rhinos originate from Southern and Eastern Africa with most of their population distributed in Kenya and Tanzania. Sadly this species of rhino could be extinct in the wild in just over 10 years due to poaching for their horns, habitat loss and human conflict.
Baringo has been a successful breeder in captivity in the past and we hope to have the same results here in his new home. Rhinos are pregnant for 15-16 months so this is a long term project to help conserve this popular and important species.
Development of the Selous Black Rhino Reserve involved background research by the Flamingo Land zoo team and features an extensive, naturally sympathetic, multi-terrain environment, a large centrally heated rhino house and a high-level public access platform, allowing visitors to enjoy great views both inside and out.
You can enjoy a keeper talk at the reserve daily at 11.30am where you can discover a little more about them.