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|6.00pm||April - Sept.|
|5.00pm||Oct. & March|
|4.30pm||Nov. - Feb.|
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Birthday Boy Bertus
Bertus, one of Edinburgh Zoo’s one-horned rhinoceroses, is turning five this year and keepers have planned a surprise party for the two tonne birthday boy!
Ahead of his birthday this Saturday, keepers will be treating Bertus to a special ice block “ cake”, one of his favourite forms of enrichment. And if the weather stays warm, he may also get a cooling hose-down!
Lorna Hughes, Head Keeper for Hoofstock and Primates at Edinburgh Zoo, says:
“Bertus is a wonderful, gentle-natured giant. At five years old he still has a bit more growing to do, though when you see him it can be very hard to believe! Bertus loves getting ice blocks with different treats stuck to it, he can spend hours licking and chomping on it. He also doesn’t mind sharing with Samir, our other one-horned rhino.”
Born in 2008, Bertus came to Edinburgh Zoo in 2010 from Rotterdam. He is joined by Samir, who was also born in 2008 and the two are firm friends who can often be spotted playing with various forms of rhino enrichment, including large balls and tractor tyres. Both Bertus and Samir are part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) and Edinburgh Zoo hosts young bachelor rhinos until they reach sexual maturity at around six to seven years old. They will then be moved to another collection for breeding and other young males will join the Zoo.
“Bertus and Samir are extremely important for the conservation of one-horned rhinos, which are Endangered in the wild. Though this species was once found throughout northern India, their population has been decimated through poaching with only pockets of them remaining in India and Nepal.”
Also known as the Indian rhinoceros, the species was on the brink of extinction during the early 1900s, with only approximately 200 individuals remaining. Through conservation efforts the population has since risen to approximately 2,575, which is still dangerously low. Habitat destruction, sport hunting and poaching have been the three biggest causes for their dwindling population, with rhino horns continuing to fetch an expensive price through the black market.
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