Like many of us, Emma saw her travel plans thwarted by a coronavirus. But after months of procrastination, this female white rhino arrived in Japan in search of love.
Emma (five) is from Leofoo Safari Park in Taiwan, where she was chosen to find a breeding partner in Japan.
His transfer to Tobu Zoo in Saitama, near Tokyo, was originally scheduled for March, but complications from the pandemic delayed his departure. She finally arrived at her destination on Tuesday, the zoo said in a statement.
Emma was chosen from a herd of 23 rhinos in the Leofoo safari park because of her calm temperament and slender physique.
She is expected to be on display in Japan for a few weeks, but she also has the task of meeting her first suitor, Moran, a ten-year-old man.
Zoo breeding programs have played a key role in rescuing southern white rhinos.
According to Save the Rhino, this subspecies currently has less than 19,000 head in the wild in southern Africa, but nearly became extinct in the 20th century before it was saved thanks to conservation efforts.
Their northern cousins were not so lucky. There are only two females left, which makes this subspecies functionally extinct. Other rhino families, such as the Java rhino and the Sumatran rhino, have less than 100 representatives.
Leofoo Safari Park imported eight southern white rhinos in 1979 and today has the most successful Asian breeding program for this subspecies.
Rhino poaching stimulates the market for their horns in Asia, especially China and Vietnam. Horns are mostly made of keratin, but human traffickers sell them calling them an aphrodisiac or even a cure for cancer.
burs-sah / kaf / ras / etb / lch