We are set to welcome three eastern black rhinos later this year after gaining planning permission for a new enclosure from Pembrokeshire County Council.
There are thought to be fewer than 650 eastern black rhinos left in the wild and just 66 in zoos across Europe.
We will be only the fifth zoo in the UK to hold this critically endangered species and will start work on their new home at the zoo this month.
The herd will consist of one male, named Nkosi, who will be joining Folly Farm from Port Lympne. The two females, called Manyara and Mala, will come from Chester Zoo and Magdeburg Zoo in Germany.
Tim Morphew, Folly Farm’s zoo curator, said:
“We were approached by the European Breeding Programme two years ago about the possibility of us housing a breeding group and it was an opportunity that was too good to miss. When we started developing the zoo at Folly Farm twelve years ago we could only have dreamed of being approached in this way. It is testament to our growing reputation for delivering world class zoo enclosures and exemplary husbandry that we are now being given this fantastic opportunity to hold one of the most high-profile critically endangered species.”
Chris Ebsworth, Managing Director at Folly Farm, added: “With this latest zoo project we will be keeping illustrious company with some of the best zoos in the UK, Chester Zoo, Port Lympne, Paignton and Howletts. It is an honour to be welcoming black rhino to Pembrokeshire and a huge opportunity to highlight their plight and all our conservation projects to nearly half a million visitors each year.”
The population of eastern black rhino in the wild is under threat from poachers who kill the animals for their horn. With fewer than 650 eastern black rhinos left in the wild, the IUCN Red List categorises them as critically endangered and they will be the 16th European Endangered Species Breeding Programme to which Folly Farm is an active member.
The new enclosure will tell the story of the threats to black rhino in the wild and the conservation work that has been carried out to reverse their decline. It will also be a flagship exhibit to tell the story of the role of modern zoos in conservation and will highlight Folly Farm’s hands-on commitment to conservation through the projects it supports in the wild and closer to home.Aerial Shot Of Enclosure
The enclosure will be named Kifaru Reserve; ‘kifaru’ meaning rhino in Swahili.