Dakima and Nkosi have been snapped sharing a paddock

Over the last couple of months our rhino keepers have been slowly introducing our breeding pair

Dakima, our breeding female Eastern black rhino, joined us in 2016 and has been keeping our older female Manyara company separate from our breeding male Nkosi. Since then our keepers have been patiently introducing Dakima and Nkosi. Softly and slowly to begin with, moving them into adjoining paddocks, then adjoining bedrooms, where they could see and smell each other. Over the last couple of months, they have been allowing them short spells of direct contact and last week marked a momentous occasion when this image was captured by one of Folly Farm’s visitors of them grazing next to each other.

It’s early days yet, but we hope this means we may hear the tiny patter of baby rhino feet. With fewer than 650 of these magnificent animals left in the wild, it would not only be a monumental story for us here and for Wales but also for the Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP) for rhinos, for zoos and for the conservation of rhinos worldwide. The EEP, of which we are a member, has already stated sending captive bred rhinos rhinos back to Africa which is the ultimate goal for any zoo conservation project.

Tim Morphew, zoo curator at Folly Farm, said;

“Dakima and Nkosi have taken to each other well. We have been very patient since her arrival in late 2016 and we’re delighted with the progress they’ve made. It’s far too soon to hope for a successful mating and with a gestation period of 15 months we’re still a long way off a rhino being born here at Folly Farm but we’re all really pleased with how things have gone so far.”

Chris Ebsworth, managing director at Folly Farm, added;

“As we celebrate our 30th birthday next week, it’s astonishing to think how far we have come from our early days as a working dairy farm where visitors used to come and see the herd being milked. The project to bring critically endangered Eastern black rhino to Folly Farm as part of a European Endangered Species Breeding Programme was an ambitious one and really marks us out as one of the leading zoos in the UK. The birth of a rhino at Folly Farm would be the icing on the cake and cause for celebration.”
Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.