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Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Friday, 25 June 2010 13:24 UK
Mud, mud glorious mud for Paignton Zoo's newest rhino
By Jemima Laing
BBC Devon

Black rhino in mud at Paignton Zoo
The black rhino enjoys the mud at Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo's newest arrival has found a novel way of keeping cool in the high temperatures in Devon.

The rare black rhino Manyara has managed to turn himself into a red rhino by enjoying a wallow in the red Devon mud.

The one tonne animal - who arrived in Devon earlier this month - splashed and rolled, emerging caked in red mud.

The eight-year-old came to Devon from Kent's Port Lympne Wild Animal Park and a crane had to be used to get him and his crate into his new enclosure.

It is hoped the male will breed with the zoo's 10-year-old female, Sita.

Paignton's other female rhino Zuri - the first black rhino to be born at Paignton Zoo - was born in March 2007, but she is still too young to breed.

Black rhino in mud at Paignton Zoo
It is hoped Manyara will mate with another rhino at the zoo

"During hot weather animals have access to indoor and outdoor shade and fresh water," said Phil Knowling from the zoo.

"Most zoo animals come from warmer climates and are very adaptable to our weather variations.

"Some animals get extra treats to help them keep cool - ice blocks with their favourite foods or fruit juices in them; baboons get water sprays."

Manyara and Sita are part of the coordinated European Endangered species Programme (EEP) for the species.

Black rhinos suffered a massive population decline during the 1970s and 80s and there are now thought to be no more than 4,000 in the wild, scattered through east and southern Africa.

With the exception of mothers with young, black rhinos are solitary creatures. So the pair - plus Zuri - are living in separate parts of the zoo's rhino complex.




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