The Great Big Rhino Project

The Great Big Rhino Project

Published - 30th Jan

We miss our Big Sweetie Rhino, but we were thrilled to receive the below information about the money that the project raised from our friends at Paignton Zoo

We'd just like to say thank you to everyone who visited Big Sweetie and any of her friends on the trail, these projects have raised vital funds for the following great causes: 


In Java, the money will be used for work in the Ujung Kulon National Park (UKNP) in the Javan Rhino Study and Conservation Area (JRSCA) and specifically for habitat restoration which includes the eradication of Arenga palm. UKNP holds the only viable population of the Critically Endangered Javan rhino. Although the population is believed to be stable, it likely has reached its carrying capacity in the current habitat and probably cannot grow without intervention. Much of the Park has been taken over by the invasive Arenga. SRI is now clearing the palm, and as soon as that is completed, will begin re-planting rhino food plants to attract rhinos to the JRSCA area. For more information about this project, click here.


In Sumatra, the money will go towards the expansion of the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in the Way Kambas National Park. The SRS was developed to accommodate the few remaining rhinos living in isolation in zoos and to increase breeding opportunities. Its objective is to successfully breed Sumatran rhinos, which, as appropriate / feasible, could eventually be reintroduced to the wild. This will be achieved by generating interdisciplinary scholarly knowledge about the basic biology of the Sumatran rhino, using an integrated approach incorporating reproductive biology, nutrition, behaviour, immunology, veterinary medicine, and other disciplines. For more information, please click here.


In Zimbabwe, Paignton Zoo and the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust have supported the Dambari Wildlife Trust (DWT), based near Bulawayo, since 1997. The Trust focussed initially on the conservation of rhino, carnivores and small antelope. However, since 2011 DWT has adopted the ‘Conservation Across Boundaries’ programme, which incorporates the conservation of these important species into a landscape approach across areas of different land-use and ownership in the Matobo Hills region. This involves working with wildlife authorities to protect and manage black and white rhino populations in the Matopos National Park, with rural communities to monitor elusive carnivores, and with local schools to teach natural history and environmental education. Read more here.

Information from Paignton Zoo

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