Last chance to see Tallinn Zoo rhino before relocation to UK

Rhino Kimbeta
Rhino Kimbeta Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Tallinn Zoo is preparing for sending one of its rhinos to the United Kingdom. Due to the pandemic, the ungulate's trip had been postponed, ERR's Novaator portal reports.

The three-year-old black rhino (diceros bicornis), named Kibeta, was born at Tallinn Zoo and had grown up under the watchful gaze of zoo visitors.

"She's been playing outside with her mother. She's still such a cheerful and sparkling girl," animal husbandry adviser Anne Saluneem told ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera".

Kibeta, who actually turns three in June, naturally does not yet know that she will soon have to leave her birthplace.

"She is basically a grown-up and can´t spend an eternity with her mother. This is the reason we are sending her away at the first opportunity," the zoo's head of exhibits Tõnis Tasane said.

The zoo already has a transportation cage ready. Now she just needs to be trained to spend time in that confined space.

"All send-offs take their time. The animal needs to adjust to all the differences, so we need to be patient - but we have enough patience," Saluneem said.

Kibeta's new home is to be Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire in the English midlands. Due to the pandemic, it too has had to close its doors to visitors, and as a result the zoo says it is now in serious financial difficulties.

"Initially, we planned the rhino's departure for spring, but due to the emergency situation, the dates changed and at present the exact date is undecided," Tasane said, meaning Kibeta will still be on display for visitors when the zoo reopens on May 19.

The current date for her departure is late summer/early autumn, meaning she may get to spend Halloween with her new companions at Twycross.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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