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Folly Farm's endangered black rhino is pregnant

Dakima and Nkosi, the proud expectant parents Credit: Folly Farm

A critically endangered black rhino living at Folly Farm is pregnant, the zoo has confirmed.

Six-year-old Dakima, is an Eastern black rhino - one of the rarest animals in the world.

There are thought to be fewer than 650 Eastern black rhinos left in the wild - and just 8 in zoos across Europe.

It will be the first rhino to be born in Wales.

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The zoo said it believes Dakima conceived in October last year after being slowly introduced to eight-year old mate, Nkosi.

All being well she is expected to give birth in January 2020 - as the gestation period for a black rhino is estimated to be between 15-16 months.

The zoo added it was "proud" to be playing a part in increasing numbers of the endangered animal, which can live for up to 50 years.

We’re over the moon to announce that our lovely Dakima is pregnant. Similar to any human pregnancy it’s still early days at the moment but, if all goes well, we can expect our new arrival early next year.

As part of the Endangered Species Breeding Programme for eastern black rhino, we knew we would be receiving a female rhino, but it wasn’t guaranteed that she would get on with Nkosi let alone become pregnant.

We’re proud to be playing a part in increasing numbers of these fantastic animals in captivity and hopefully ultimately in the wild.

– Tim Morphew, zoo curator

Our rhino keepers are now busy "baby-proofing" Dakima's home, the Kifaru Reserve, to accommodate the new smaller member of the family.

Dakima is in great spirits at the moment, as a first-time mum she is taking everything in her stride.

We’ll support her in her pregnancy making sure it’s as natural as possible but will step in where necessary.

As for Nkosi, rhinos are solitary animals, so his job is pretty much done!

– Tim Morphew, zoo curator