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Rhino Bruce's joy at reunion with old pal.

A touching reunion has taken place between a rhinoceros and his former keeper from Blair Drummond Safari Park.

Bruce, a southern white rhinoceros, was born at Blair Drummond in 2014 and was the fourth calf to breeding pair, Graham and Dorothy.

He shared an enclosure with his mother from birth until he was two and a half years old.

It is natural for a male rhino to leave the herd after a few years so Bruce was transferred to Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire in May 2017.

Keeper Graeme Alexander, who has worked with the large mammals section at Blair Drummond since 2011, was part of the team that looked after Bruce at the safari park.

He received a trip to Flamingo Land as a surprise birthday present and was delighted to get the chance to be reunited with his former charge."It was amazing to see Bruce again,"said Graeme.

"Although he had not seen me for a year, he recognised me as soon as I arrived and came straight over.

"I adored Bruce and it has been lovely to see how successfully he has integrated into his new surroundings."

Graham and Dorothy are part of an endangered species breeding programme at Blair Drummond, which, along with fundraising and awareness, has played a crucial role the conservation of the southern white rhinoceros.

This species, which was close to extinction just 20 years ago, now has an estimated global population of over 20,000.

Dorothy's fifth calf, Bonnie, was born in September 2016 and is currently one of the star attractions at Blair Drummond Safari Park.

CAPTION(S):

Together again Keeper Graeme Alexander reunited with rhino Bruce at Flamingo Land

Early days Graeme with `baby'Bruce at Blair Drummond Safari Park

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Publication:Stirling Observer (Stirling, Scotland)
Date:Feb 23, 2018
Words:290
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