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Cotswold Wildlife Park's rhino gets a mention at PMQs

Wellesbourne Airfield
Wellesbourne Airfield

Andrew Turner, MP for the Isle of Wight, called on Mr Cameron to intervene in the stand-off.

He said: "The tiger was firstly cruelly treated in a circus and has now been kept in isolation for nearly two years despite Belgium being wholly free from rabies. Will my right honourable friend assist in breaking through this bureaucractical log-jam?"

In reply, Mr Cameron said: "I will certainly do anything I can to help. We will help with the DEFRA animal health and plant agency because they are the ones dealing with this.

"I had a constituency case exactly like this with Cotswold Wildlife Park wanting to bring in a rhino and I intervened and I am delighted to say they named their rhino Nancy in honour of my daughter and Nancy has been breeding ever since she arrived in Burford and I hope this tiger is also as effective."

In 2009, Nancy, along with another female called Ruby, made the 11,000km journey from Mafunyane Game Farm in South Africa to the UK to join young male Monty at the park and it was hoped that, one day, they would successfully breed the park's first-ever rhino calf.

Females only reproduce every two-and-a-half to five years, so the window of opportunity for successful reproduction is limited.

In 2013 Nancy and Monty celebrated the arrival of Astrid and on 18th August this year the park's keepers were celebrating another new arrival, when Nancy unexpectedly gave birth again, this time to a boy. Her keepers knew she was pregnant, but the actual birth came earlier than expected.

To add to the celebrations, earlier this year Ruby gave birth to a male calf, named Ian.

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