Like many of us, Emma has seen her travel plans thwarted by the coronavirus. But after months of delay, this female white rhino arrived in Japan in search of love.
Emma, five, is from Leofoo Safari Park in Taiwan, where she was selected to find a mate in Japan for breeding and breeding.
His transfer to Tobu Zoo in Saitama, near Tokyo, was originally scheduled for March, but complications from the pandemic had delayed his departure. She finally arrived at her destination on Tuesday, the zoo said in a statement.
Emma was chosen from the herd of 23 rhinos at Leofoo Safari Park because of her peaceful temperament and slim physique.
She is expected to be on public display in Japan for several weeks, but also has the task of getting to know her first suitor, Moran, a 10-year-old male.
Zoo breeding programs have played a key role in saving southern white rhinos.
According to the Save the Rhino association, this subspecies currently has less than 19,000 heads in the wild in southern Africa, but was almost extinct in the 20th century before being saved thanks to conservation efforts.
Their northern cousins were not so lucky. Only two remain, females, making this subspecies functionally extinct. Other rhino families, such as the Java rhino and the Sumatran rhino, have fewer than 100 representatives each.
Leofoo Safari Park imported eight southern white rhinos in 1979 and today has Asia’s most successful breeding program for this subspecies.
Rhino poaching is fueled by the market for their horns in Asia, especially China and Vietnam. The horns are mostly made of keratin, but traffickers sell them touting them as an aphrodisiac, or even a cure for cancer.
burs-sah / kaf / ras / etb / lch