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Animal Science

College staff involved within the animal science theme have undertaken work in a variety of contexts including applied animal behaviour, biodiversity and animal conservation.  Askham Bryan as a College has significant animal science resources that are deployed to service the applied research projects.  These include, a brand new purpose built animal science centre, one of the most significant and extensive college or university based animal collections (Zoo licensed) in the country, extensive dog kennelling and behaviour training areas, an ongoing relationship with a number of large animal collections across the north of England as well as extensive well-equipped laboratories.

Project Staff:

Dr Anna Riach, Lecturer in Animal Management and Equine
Alex Downing, Lecturer in Animal Management


Project Title:
Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Black Rhino Enclosure at Flamingo Land Zoo
Start Date:
March 2016
Project Lead Staff:
Alex Downing
Project Partners:
Flamingo Land Zoo
Other Project Staff:
Dr Anna Riach
Mark Hoyle
Project Aims and Overview:

Primary research to evaluate the success of the recently completed Black Rhino exhibit at Flamingo Land Zoo and apply for the BIAZA Certificate of Excellence: Exhibits award. Evaluate effectiveness through the impact of animal care and management, activity budgets and space quality (Rose and Robert, 2013), display of normal behaviours and reduction in any stereotypical behaviour; implement new feeding devices within the indoor enclosure to reduce pacing in the adult female and the impact as an educational resource following EAZA Education Standards 2001.

The Black Rhino exhibit is a newly built enclosure and the species is a first for the zoo. Research on captive Black Rhino in general is limited with little or no research on nocturnal behaviours. This will also be the first time Flamingo Land has submitted an application for the Certificate of Excellence: Exhibits award.

The research will focus on three main areas, the animals, keepers and public allowing student dissertations to work alongside the primary research.


Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277