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Rare Rhinos Housed for the Future Thanks to State-of-the-Art Enclosure

A new rhino enclosure at Knowsley Safari has been protected for decades to come thanks to two firms involved in its major redevelopment.

CLM Services Ltd were asked by the park’s team to provide assistance with the design, fabrication, and installation of six new paddock fence lines, four keeper areas, a dedicated veterinary area, and a VIP area for the brand-new rhino enclosure.

One of only a few fabrication companies registered as a Member with the British & Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), CLM Services called on its long-standing partners, Merseyside Galvanizing Ltd, to galvanize the steel and ensure the structures would be protected against corrosion and rust.

Eight white rhinos are now housed in the new enclosure, including a rare southern white rhino which was born shortly after work was completed.

“As a family-run business and member of BIAZA, we’ve worked on many zoological projects over the last 15 years,” explained Matt Hayes of CLM Services. “To be asked by the team at Knowsley Safari to develop a permanent new environment for its endangered white rhinos has been a real privilege, and we’re pleased to have been able to deliver a fit-for-purpose solution for each of their requirements.”

A fence line structure was part of the scope of works, consisting of over 50 tonnes of precast concrete panels and 15 tonnes of galvanized steel, which allows staff to safely access the rhinos and undertake a range of vital animal welfare activities.

Six sliding gates, each weighing 500kg, were also installed along the fence line to allow keepers to transfer the rhinos safely from paddock to paddock, including a keeper porch designed to provide them with close access whilst remaining fully protected by a solid partition.

“One of the most innovative parts of the overall design was the vet area, which weighed five tonnes and included two manual and fully adjustable sliding gates to safely contain rhinos, allowing staff to adapt the size of the area based on the individual rhino’s size and conduct hoof inspections and weigh-ins,” Matt added.

“It’s always beneficial to use galvanizing for an environment like this where steel is open to the elements, and often harsh weather conditions. It can also be washed down with ease and without worry of damaging the structure, helping keepers to maintain a clean habitat and ensure the continued welfare of animals. The team at Merseyside Galvanizing once again delivered on the brief and provided us – and the safari team – with the reassurance that the steel structures will last for decades to come.”

Richard Smetham, Sales Manager at Merseyside Galvanizing (part of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd), added: “We always look forward to working with CLM Services as we know the structures we’re galvanizing play such an important role – whether it be for animals, or for key construction projects and ariel amusement rides.”

Merseyside Galvanizing Ltd is part of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, the largest hot-dip galvanizing organisation in the UK with a history dating back over 150 years. With 14 plants strategically placed across the country, the firm offers a truly national galvanizing service.

By Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd

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