Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 18:52 UK

Rhinos' moving home costs 1.2m


The animals arrived at their new home after a journey of three days

Two female rhinos have taken six years and enlisted the help of 60 people at a cost of £1.2m to move halfway across the world to Bedfordshire.

The pair left Johannesburg in South Africa on Friday morning and arrived at Woburn Safari Park on Monday afternoon.

The South African white rhinos were flown to Luxembourg from where they were moved by lorry through Belgium and France before crossing the channel.

Dr Jake Veasey from Woburn said he began work on the project in 2003.

Two years later the team began negotiations in South Africa and four months ago the rhinos were finally moved into quarantine in Johannesburg ahead of their journey to Bedfordshire.

"It was a bureaucratic nightmare," said Dr Veasey. "There were so many stages at which this could have fallen through.

"There was a huge amount of paperwork involved for crossing borders and on top of that, transportation had to be very well co-ordinated - it's been a draining project."

The pair are named Mkuzi and Mtubatuba and have moved into a new facility, designed by Dr Veasey and his team, to allow the rhinos to live in herds as they would in the wild.

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