Rowena headed over to Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford to meet Ian, the wonderful little baby Rhino! Mark from Cotswold Wildlife Park was on hand to tell her all about the lively little chap!
Named Ian in memory of the highly respected South African conservationist, Ian Player, who spearheaded efforts to rescue the Southern White Rhino from extinction. The Park's original Rhino pair, called Lebombo and Somtuli, arrived from Umfolozi in 1972 as a direct result of Ian's Rhino conservation initiatives with South Africaâ€™s Natal Parks Board. His memory lives on in the Parkâ€™s Rhino family.
Females only reproduce every two-and-a-half to five years, so the window of opportunity for successful reproduction is limited. Unbelievably, these iconic animals were once the rarest subspecies of any Rhino and were on the verge of extinction in the early 1900s, when it was believed only twenty to fifty animals remained in their native African homeland. Thanks to excellent and sustained protection, they are now the most common of the five Rhino subspecies, although poaching in the last five years has once again escalated to serious levels, driven by demand for rhino horn from the traditional medicine market of China and the Far East.
Visitors can see Ian daily from 10am to 6pm (last entry at 4.30pm) in the solar powered Rhino House.