27/07/2018 in Edinburgh Zoo
A young greater one-horned rhinoceros has arrived at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo after travelling more than 600 miles across Europe.
Qabid, a two-and-a-half-year-old male around half the size of a fully grown adult, was lowered into his new home by crane after an overnight journey from Planckendael Zoo in Belgium.
Expert keepers at Edinburgh Zoo play a vital role in the conservation breeding programme for the species, taking care of teenage rhinos when they are ready to leave their mothers but are still too young to be paired with a mate.
Karen Stiven, senior keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “We are very excited to welcome Qabid into our care and it’s great to see him settling in and exploring his new surroundings after his 600 mile journey from Belgium.
“We have a long history of rhino conservation at Edinburgh Zoo and an important role to play in the European breeding programme. In the wild, young male rhinos leave their mothers at around Qabid’s age and become solitary until they are old enough to breed.
“In the past we have raised two pairs of bachelor rhinos. Baabuu and Fanindra left in 2010 to be paired with females and have both successfully reproduced in the years since. We’re anticipating the same success for Samir who left in 2016 and Bertus who left earlier this year.
“We hope Qabid will be joined by another juvenile rhino soon and that they’ll follow in the footsteps of their predecessors when they are fully grown.”
Rhino species across the world are under increasing threat of extinction as a result of poaching and habitat loss. Greater one-horned rhinos are currently classed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Viewing will be restricted over the weekend and while Qabid settles in to his new home.