Cotswold Wildlife Park's first hand-reared rhino calf has reached a special milestone as she celebrates her first birthday this month.
Already weighing an impressive 675kg, her keepers have calculated that she’s ploughed through 12,478 litres of milk in her first year.
Due to a complication with her leg at birth, the difficult decision was made to hand-rear her. But hand-rearing the second largest land mammal wasn't a decision to be made lightly: in those early days, Belle needed 24-hour care, and the dedicated team stayed by her side day and night.
It's been a long journey for Belle and the mammal keepers at the park, who are delighted to be sharing Belle’s first birthday with her. Jamie Craig, Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park, says: "It doesn’t seem a year since Belle gatecrashed into our lives at the park! After some sleepless nights, we started to make real progress once her leg healed, and she has gone from strength to strength ever since.”
On her birthday, Belle was treated to a special cake made out of rhino pellets (made for her by her keepers) and the mammal team joined in the celebrations with their own cake to mark a very special day in Belle's life.
Plan your visit to see her at www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk