Baby white rhino treated to facial mudpack ahead of first birthday party

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A baby white rhino whose birth was hailed as an important step in the drive to save the species from extinction has been given a facial mudpack ahead of her first birthday.

The pampering session not only keeps Bonnie's skin in tip-top condition but it allows her keepers at Scotland's Blair Drummond Safari Park to give her a close veterinary inspection.

Keeper Graeme Alexander told Press Association Scotland: "She's been doing really well. She's a firm favourite with all the visitors and the staff.

Bonnie the baby white rhino enjoys a facial mudpack with her mum Dorothy in preparation for her first birthday party at Blair Drummond Safari Park (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Bonnie the baby white rhino enjoys a facial mudpack with her mum Dorothy in preparation for her first birthday party at Blair Drummond Safari Park (Andrew Milligan/PA)

"She loves to come over and get her mudpacks on, they really enjoy getting their mudbaths on a regular basis. It just allows us to get a bit closer and have closer inspections for veterinary purposes. We check her eyes, check her ears.

"The mud is good for their skin, which is quite fragile and they can easily get sunburnt. It just helps stop the skin from drying out. So it's quite important that we do it on a regular basis."

Bonnie enjoys her birthday presents (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Bonnie enjoys her birthday presents (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Bonnie was born at the park near Stirling on September 27 last year after an epic 16-month pregnancy. She was the fifth rhino calf to be born at the park to mother Dot and father Graham, both 17.

Her birthday comes as staff at the visitor attraction prepare to host a rhino-themed weekend, which coincides with World Rhino Day. The event this weekend will help to raise funds for OSCAP (Outraged South African Citizens Against Poaching), one of the organisations supported by the park.

It's #WorldRhinoDay tomorrow! RT if you believe every wild rhino should be protected every day of the year ???? pic.twitter.com/IopGECejFF

-- WWF UK (@wwf_uk) September 21, 2017

Southern white rhinos, native to the south of Africa, are currently listed as near-threatened on the IUCN red list of endangered species. Keepers say poaching continues to be an ongoing problem in Africa, with around 16,000 animals now believed to remain in the wild.

Mr Alexander said the weekend event is about raising awareness about the threats still facing the white rhinos.