Rhino conservation: Dung science leads to zoo baby boom

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Scientists at Chester Zoo say their work has achieved a rhino baby boom.

The researchers have spent the past five years carefully monitoring the hormone levels of their resident female rhinos in order to work out the best time to introduce them to a potential partner. And after a decade during which the zoo had no new baby rhinos, there have now been four births in the past four years.

But the project has required scientist Katie Edwards to spend every day weighing and analysing rhino dung.

Here, Ms Edwards describes her research and introduces Dakima, the zoo's newest baby rhino, who is less than two months old.

The research team, led by Dr Sue Walker, is now working with zoos throughout Europe. They hope their methods will improve the success of zoo breeding programmes internationally.

Ms Edwards' research was led by Chester Zoo in collaboration with the universities of Liverpool and Manchester.

Video journalist: Victoria Gill

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