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SOS Rhino : In the News : Baby rhinos adopted by aging mum
 

Baby rhinos adopted by aging mum

  Updated 20 March 2004, 15.29
News.bbc.co.uk

An ageing rhino has adopted three baby white rhinos to save the endangered animals from extinction.

The rhinos arrived in Scotland from South Africa in September, but will be seen for the first time on Saturday.

A park spokesman said he was impressed by how ageing Alice, 38, had taken to the three year old rhinos, despite her health problems.

"They're getting on like a house on fire and Alice has taken them under her horns," he said.

'Rough and Tumble'

It is estimated there are less than 8,000 white rhinos in the wild but hopes are high that each of the one-tonne trio will one day become proud parents.

Rhinos in captivity are expected to live to between 35 and 40 years old.

Alice has been showing the new arrivals, Dorothy, Jane and Graham, where to find good bits of grass, and getting them used to the safari park.

"The wee ones have cheered her up and she has been having a rough and tumble with them," said the park's manager.

More About Alice:

Alice the rhino is seriously into her beauty treatments.

The 38-year-old creature has really bad arthritis so it's hard for her to roll about in the mud.

Rhinos love to do that to keep cool and to protect their skin from insects and the sun.

So her keepers at Blair Drummond Safari Park, near Stirling, Scotland, have decided they'll do it for her!

If she's behaving, it takes them about 15 minutes to slap mud all over her.

Nooks and crannies

If they miss a bit, she wriggles around so they can get in all the nooks and crannies.

She finds the whole pampering so relaxing, she sometimes almost drops off to sleep!

Alice and her partner, 34-year-old Dicks are very popular at the safari park; they get about 250,000 visitors a year.