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Vets carry out rare ultrasound on rhino
Greater one-horned rhinos are threatened by expanding human populations in their native Nepal and India.

Behan’s irregular reproductive cycles were causing concern 

Vets have performed a rare ultrasound on a rhino at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, after becoming concerned about her reproductive cycles.

Keepers were worried that the zoo’s 22-year-old greater one-horned rhino, Behan, was having irregular reproductive cycles.

Whilst it is rare to put such a large animal under general anaesthetic, owing to the risks, vets said the only way to diagnose Behan’s problem was to carry out an internal scan.

To help with the procedure, zoo vets called in Robert Hermes, an international specialist in rhino reproduction from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin.

Fortunately, the scan showed that Behan is in good health and the issues with her reproductive cycle can be treated with regular hormone injections.

Whipsnade Zoo’s veterinary officer, Fieke Molenaar said: “To be reassured that she is in good health is great news for all of us that work with Behan.

“It’s also fantastic for the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), because we now know that, although she is an older female, it may still be possible for her to have another calf… which would be her fifth!”

Greater one-horned rhinos are threatened by expanding human populations in their native Nepal and India. ZSL is working with other organisations in Nepal to protect the species. Improved law enforcement and management of protected areas has helped increase the number of rhinos in Chitwan National Park from 100 to 645 in five decades. 

Image © ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.