Lottie the White rhino has arrived at her new home in Germany!

Colchester Zoo said farewell to 2yr old Lottie the White rhino on Wednesday 19th October as she began her travels to her new home at Thüringer Zoopark Erfurt in Germany.

Erfurt have been excited for the arrival of Lottie as they have recently redeveloped a new rhino habitat, roughly 3500m², which has been under development for a while. On completion, inspection and approval of the new habitat, wheels were put in motion to transfer Lottie to her new home.

Since the UK left the EU, animal transfers to Europe have been a challenging process due to extra certification and health checks required. Lottie’s transfer has been 6 months in the making but we are delighted to report that she arrived safely and is settling in well. As soon as Lottie was released into her new habitat she was exploring and happy to approach her new keepers for a scratch behind the ear and on the nose!

Lottie had a remarkable relationship with The Animal Care Team at just 2yrs old and will be missed but we’re pleased to hear that Lottie has arrived safely and is settling in well to her new home with her new companion. ‘Stella’ the White rhino from Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens, travelled with Lottie to Germany and they have taken up residence together. We look forward to hearing more from Erfurt with updates as to how Lottie and Stella are adjusting to their new life together but so far all is very positive, and they both seem to be happy in their new environment.

Zoopark Erfurt has cared for rhinos before and has successfully bred 8 calves. It is hoped that when Lottie and Stella are old enough, they will be introduced to a bull rhino recommended by the studbook keeper and go on to have calves of their own. Until then, the two of them will enjoy their new home together.

The captive Southern white rhinoceros population in Europe is managed as a European Ex Situ Programme, also known as an EEP, and Lottie’s transfer is a result of a recommendation made by the EEP coordinator. The European Ex Situ Programme is vital for the conservation of this species in captivity. The EEP is run by a single coordinator who then made our recommendation by close monitoring of the captive population and the population genetics.

Lottie was born at Colchester Zoo on the 4th January 2020 to mum Emily and dad Otto. Both parents remain at the zoo and continue to be a successful breeding pair which is amazing for the conservation of this ‘Near Threatened’ species. Lottie was Emily’s third calf to be born here at Colchester Zoo after having daughter Pembe in 2013 and son Kifaru in 2017.

Our Southern White Rhino breeding programme is one of our most successful here at Colchester Zoo with 6 calves born since 2009 and one on its way; our first calf, Zamba was born via artificial insemination. Since then, the success has been championed by our male rhino, Otto, who has sired an amazing five calves with the sixth due between January and March 2023 after a gestation period of around 16 to 18 months for mum Astrid!

For more information on Astrid’s pregnancy click here.

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