In West Africa a new cross-breeding programme has allowed breeders to create real unicorns.

The purpose of the breeding programme is to explore ways in which animals can be given advantages within their natural habitat.

The programme crosses the genes of horses with specified chromosomes taken from a rhinoceros.

This resulted in horses born with small horns on their head, resembling unicorns.

The horns could be used to scare off natural predators, or in self-defence.

The program has tight ethical regulation to ensure the horses born through it have a high quality of life.

The terms of the breeding programme even specify the unicorns cannot be used for commercial purposes, like children’s birthdays.

But with unicorns now out in the wild, it’s likely that they will be open to the public in some form in the next few years.

NFN's Oliver Frost contributed to this report.