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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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Sale of microbeads now banned

News Story 1
 The sale of products containing microbeads is now banned across England and Scotland, Defra has confirmed.

As part of government efforts to prevent these plastics ending up in the marine environment, retailers can no longer sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads. These tiny plastics were often added to products including face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

Just a single shower is thought to send 100,000 of these beads down the drain and into the ocean, where it can cause serious harm to marine life. A ban on manufacturing products containing microbeads previously came into force in January this year. 

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News Shorts
George Eustice announces funding for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea

Farming minister George Eustice has announced a £5.7million funding package to help farmers tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The funding will be available in England for three years through the Rural Development Programme and farmers will be able to apply for one-to-one farm advisory visits by a veterinary practitioner.

The project will recruit local vets who will then work with keepers of breeding cattle to tackle BVD on their farms.