Welsh rhino celebrates 1st birthday

🎶 Penblwydd Hapus i Glyndwr! 🎶

We’ve been celebrating baby’s first birthday. Yes that’s right, on 16 January 2020 our keepers arrived at work to the most wonderful of welcomes…a newborn baby black rhino! And we’ve been spamming you on our social media with baby rhino posts ever since #sorrynotsorry

Baby’s first birthday! We’re loving the bunting.

We’re sad our wonderful visitors can’t be with us to celebrate this significant milestone but that didn’t stop our keepers throwing a party…bunting and all! They stopped short of organising a cake smash (can you imagine the mess?!) but there was cake nonetheless…a carrot cake!

Glyn loved his “carrot” cake obvs

A year on, it’s the perfect chance to look back to his arrival and update you on he’s doing.

Glyndwr was our first birth under the co-ordinated European Breeding Programme for the critically endangered Eastern black rhino, having held rhinos at Folly Farm since 2015. He was also the first rhino to be born in Wales, something we’re very proud of. With fewer than 650 black rhinos left in the wild his birth was significant, providing hope for his species.

Glyndwr’s birth reached press from all around the world and he appeared on ITV’s regional news, BBC Wordlwide’s instagram channel, ITV’s This Morning and BBC’s The One Show who revealed his wonderful Welsh name live on air! For those of you who don’t know Glyn is named after our founding director Glyndwr Williams who sadly passed away last February and whose vision it was to bring rhinos to Wales.

Similar to any toddler, Glyndwr is starting to become a lot more independent and inquisitive. He enjoys investigating and roaming the paddock, playing with the ball a guest donated from our Amazon Wish list and spending time bonding with Dad, Nkosi and Auntie, Manyara through the fence. That said, he always keeps mum in the corner of his eye and runs home when hungry or unsure of something! The pair share a close bond and are often found having a snuggle and cwtch.

He’ll stay with mum until he’s around four years old so he’s still very much a baby rhino. Although his birthday weigh in shows just how much he’s grown. He now weighs an impressive 430kg! We believe he was between 30-45kg at birth so that’s at least ten times his birth weight. Adult black rhinos can weigh between 800 and 1400kg so he’s still got a way to go.

Just a few days old!

Our keepers have been busy over the last year working with Glyn to gain his trust and build his confidence. They have been using target training techniques with him so they can regularly check his feet and conduct health checks, key for ensuring a calm and stress-free experience. This is also how they can get him to report to the weighing scales!

Keeper Jack training Glyn to report for a weigh in and other important health checks.

Glyn had another brief appearance on ITV’s This Morning when they featured one of our conservation partners, Dogs4Wildlife. The film showed conservation dogs familiarising themselves with the sight, sound of smells of Glyn and his mum Dakima as part of their training. The charity saw viewers donate more than £700 towards the training of more conservation dogs, to protect Glyn’s wild cousins and we were also able to donate £1300 from the sale of our rhino and other animal adoptions over the last year. Dogs4Wildlife have just sent a dog to protect a reserve in Limpopo, South Africa and are currently training four new puppies to form a canine unit at the Kyalala Conservancy in the heart of Zambia, with an area that expands over 70,000 hectares. We’re very proud of our rhino keeper Jack who is a director of this charity.

He certainly is the heavyweight in our zoo collection and will play a huge role in the conservation efforts for his species and we can’t wait to be part of his journey for the next year.

Happiest of birthdays to you Glyndwr bach.

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.