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Cotswold Wildlife Park celebrates first birthday of Rhino baby

Cotswold Wildlife Park celebrates first birthday of Rhino baby

Cotswold Wildlife Park is celebrating a very special birthday. Exactly one year ago, Astrid was born. She was the first Southern White Rhino calf to have been born in the Park’s forty-four year history. She has since become one of the wildlife park’s most popular residents.

To celebrate the day, keepers made a birthday cake for Astrid. Visitors have even sent in birthday cards to mark the occasion. Over the last year, she’s met TV star Bear Grylls, writer and comedienne Ruby Wax and was the subject of a beautiful bronze sculpture entitled ‘Nancy & Astrid – Study of a White Rhino and Calf’ by award winning artist Rosamond Lloyd. The sale of these limited edition sculptures helped to raise money for Tusk Trust, a charity the Park has been closely involved with for many years. In 2013, Cotswold Wildlife Park raised over £50,000 for the UK based charity, whose Royal Patron is HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

Astrid is a dream come true for the Park. Her mother Nancy (along with another female called Ruby) made the eleven thousand kilometre journey from Mafunyane Game Farm in South Africa to the UK in 2009 to join young male Monty at the Park in the hope that one day, they would successfully breed. Four years later, on 1st July 2013, Astrid was born.

At birth, Astrid weighed approximately 40kgs and was totally reliant on her mother Nancy for survival. In a year, she’s grown not only in size, but in personality. Cotswold Wildlife Park’s Managing Director, Reggie Heyworth, said: “Astrid is such a character and growing up fast.  If she had long hair she would be tossing it, if she could walk through a door she would be slamming it, and if she had opposable digits she’d be borrowing lipstick.  Luckily she can't do any of those things, but she is turning into quite the little madam!”

Section Head of Mammals, Mark Godwin, added: “She is the biggest thing to happen in my career so far and a true star with a character to match. I look forward to the day she goes on to be part of the breeding programme and the day when a Rhino birth is a regular event at the Park.”

A photo gallery of Astrid’s first year is available here.

Visitors can see Astrid daily from 10am to 6pm (last entry to the Park is at 4.30pm) in the large paddock she shares with mother Nancy, father Monty and Ruby.

Explore Gloucestershire
1 July 2014

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