She’s 29 years old, she’s the mother of a grown-up daughter and she weighs around a tonne - but female black rhino Sita still likes to mess about in the mud.

This amazing sequence of photos, taken by Paignton Zoo regular and keen photographer Miriam Haas, shows Sita rolling around like a puppy – a very, very large puppy. 

Paignton Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “Lots of people do something to mark the New Year – a swim in the sea, a sponsored run… Sita decided to go outside and get filthy! An all-over mud-pack is actually good for her skin, though it’s easy to think she was rolling around simply for the sheer joy of it!”

Sita is a black rhino – though she looks decidedly brown here – and lives at Paignton Zoo with male Manyara. Her calf Zuri was born in 2007 and moved to Chester Zoo in 2011. The black rhino is a Critically Endangered species; Paignton Zoo is a registered charity. For more information go to or ring 01803 697500.




Quotes Loads to see and do, for a full day out. Quotes