Blair Drummond safari worker reunited with rhino — in North Yorkshire

Blair Drummond keeper Graeme Alexander was pleased to see rhino Bruce on a trip to Flamingo Land
Blair Drummond keeper Graeme Alexander was pleased to see rhino Bruce on a trip to Flamingo Land

A Blair Drummond safari keeper has been reunited with the rhinoceros he once looked after — almost 250 miles away from its former home at the Stirling park.

Graeme Alexander was part of a team which cared for southern white rhino Bruce, who was transferred to Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire last May.

Born in Blair Drummond’s large mammals section four years ago, Bruce was the fourth calf to breeding pair Graham and Dororthy.

The rhino had shared an enclosure with his mother until he was two-and-a-half years old.

However, as male rhinos naturally leave their herd after a few years, the safari park made the decision to move Bruce down south.

Almost a year on, Graeme received a surprise trip to Flamingo Land for his birthday, where he was reconnected with his former charge.

He said: “It was amazing to see Bruce again.

“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’s been lovely to see how successfully he has integrated into his new surroundings.”

Bruce’s parents are part of an endangered species breeding programme at Blair Drummond which, along with raising funds and awareness, has played a crucial role in the conservation of the southern white rhino.

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

Dorothy’s fifth calf, Bonnie, was born last September and is now one of the star attractions at Blair Drummond.