Lonely Rhinoceros

Other commitments have prevented me from visiting the Bioparc since Christmas, so it was nice to visit again on Saturday. The day was grey and overcast and a little cold which meant that the parc was fairly quiet. After the usual coffee and croissants looking out at the giraffes I set off to see what photo opportunities presented themselves.

The meerkats were obviously feeling the cold too as they huddles together in a group and fought over who would get the middle spot.

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Further round I came across one of the Rhinos and was reminded  of its poor start in life. These are Southern White Rhinos. This species were almost completely wiped out in the late 19th century but thanks to a huge conservation effort they are now the only Rhino in the world that is not on the endangered list..

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This particular Rhinoceros(shown above) was at the old zoo, a terrible place with tiny cramped cages for a few dishevelled animals. The enclosure for the Rhino was not much bigger than an average double garage and the only exercise it could get was to walk round in small circles. Happily it was transferred to the Bioparc as soon as it opened. You would think that when it arrived at the wide open spaces here it would run around like a mad thing. Unfortunately it had become so accustomed to walking around in circles that it continued to do so, in addition it was so used to being alone that it had to be kept separate from the other Rhinos for its own, and the others safety. This situation continued for several years despite the painstaking work of the keepers. Numerous attempts were made to encourage him to mix with the others but to no avail and he is still on his own, he has however, learned to explore the surroundings and seems comfortable walking around all of his new, large, enclosure.

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Thankfully places like the old zoo are become rare and the modern zoos in most countries are far more animal friendly, in fact without the work that goes on in zoos many animals could soon be totally extinct. My own view is that any zoo, even the Bioparc, is not as good as the wild. However mans relentless pursuit of self interest and profit, means that more and more habitat is being destroyed. It is a sad fact that, unless drastic changes are made, soon the “wild” may not be there for many animals. With this in mind I cannot believe this, Dallas Safari Club is planning to shoot a Western Black Rhino, Prevent Dallas Safari Club from Importing Rhino Trophies http://www.thepetitionsite.com/tell-a-friend/10512642#bbfb=940117760 Please help prevent this by signing the petition.

One exhibit which I haven’t mentioned before are the Flamingos, these can be seen in the wild in Spain but still attract many viewers and are always colourful. Today they were making a huge amount of noise. On arriving it seems they were going about their mating ritual of squawking loudly, turning their heads backwards and forwards, fluffing their feathers, and attacking each other. Despite being lovely looking birds from a distance I have never been able to get any really good shot of them but here’s a sample.

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A nice end to the day was to visit the bird show, of course, no photos today as I just enjoyed the spectacle. It seems likely that my visits will be restricted to fortnightly at the moment but I will continue to post as often as I can, if you enjoy these please keep looking and any comments would be most welcome.


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