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  1. ITV Report

Rhino romance given a helping hand at zoo farm

Photo: Noah's Ark

Two loved-up rhinos in Bristol may finally produce the patter of not-so-tiny feet, helped by intuitive reproductive science.

Thanks to a couple of rhino fertility specialists from Berlin, white rhinos Rumbull and Rumba now have a better chance of conceiving after years struggling to produce a calf naturally – thanks to dietary supplements which have helped improve male Rumbull’s sperm count.

Credit: Noah's Ark

The rhino couple were the first ‘big zoo’ animals to join the park back in 2005, and although close companions and now 14 years old, they've proved rhino mating is a hit-and-miss-affair.

Take a look at this footage from the zoo farm showing the couple pottering around their compound:

Experts Dr. Robert Hermes and Dr. Frank Göritz travelled to Bristol to work with keepers at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm to re-assess the South African rhinos and carry out artificial insemination last week.

Credit: Noah's Ark

With a gestation of 16-18 months, it will be 6 months before keepers at Noah’s Ark will know the result of insemination and a further 10 months until birth if the procedure was successful.

We’re pleased with how the procedure went and that Rumbull’s semen quality is improving. This, combined with the precise timing of the AI procedure should give us the best chance of a confirmed pregnancy.

– Noah’s Ark’s Curator Chris Wilkinson