Devon

Crane used for Paignton Zoo's black rhino arrival

Crane operation (l) and Manyara
Image caption The operation to manoeuvre Manyara into his paddock took two hours

A crane was involved in a two-hour operation to "airlift" a one-tonne black rhinoceros into its new home.

The 20-tonne crane was needed to manoeuvre the rhino and his travelling crate, which together weighed nearly three tonnes, into the paddock of Paignton Zoo's rhino house.

Specialist transport brought eight-year-old Manyara to Devon by road from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent.

It is hoped the male will breed with the zoo's 10-year-old female, Sita.

Adults separated

Paignton's other female rhino Zuri - the first black rhino to be born at Paignton Zoo - was born in March 2007, but she is still too young to breed.

Manyara and Sita are part of the coordinated European Endangered species Programme (EEP) for the species.

Black rhinos suffered a massive population decline during the 1970s and 80s and there are now thought to be no more than 4,000 in the wild, scattered through east and southern Africa.

With the exception of mothers with young, black rhinos are solitary creatures. So the pair - plus Zuri - will live in separate parts of the zoo's rhino complex.

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