Firefighters rescue rambunctious rhino at Edinburgh Zoo

Qabid on his arrival at Edinburgh zoo, July 2018.

By Lynn Rusk

A rhino has been rescued by firefighters after getting stuck in a tyre for about two hours on Sunday at Edinburgh Zoo.

The two-year-old rhino named Qabid got his head and leg trapped a large tyre in his enclosure.

Firefighters from Sighthill were called out at around 5.45pm to cut the trapped mammal free using hydraulic cutting equipment.

A spokesperson for the fire service said: “After the tyre was removed the rhino was left in the care of zookeepers and vets.”

Darren McGarry, head of living collections at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Our greater one horned rhino Qabid loves to play with his tyre, it’s one of his favourite things to do.

“On Sunday, he managed to get his head and a leg stuck while playing and we had to contact the fire service for assistance to use their specialist cutting equipment.”

He added: “The tyre was safely removed and Qabid is doing fine. We would like to thank the fire service for their help.”

Qabid first arrived at Edinburgh Zoo in July this year after previously residing at the Planckendael Zoo in Belgium.

Expert keepers at Edinburgh Zoo play a vital role in the conservation breeding programme for the species, taking care of teenage rhinos when they are ready to leave their mothers but are still too young to be paired with a mate.

Rhino species across the world are under increasing threat of extinction as a result of poaching and habitat loss. Greater one-horned rhinos are currently classed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.