Saving the Rhino in their Original Habitat
It’s good to see some of the black rhino back in Rwanda. They were virtually wiped out in 1994. Fast forward to June 2019 and another episode of Saving the Rhino. They are now relocating with this effort, back to the Akagera Park that once had 50 rhino.
Rwanda has been leading the 25 year effort to save the mountain gorilla population. The Virunga National Park’s gorilla numbers returned from the brink. I visited the Virunga Gorillas National Park in 2003 with my project team. I was impressed to see how well protected they were. The Sabyinho gorilla family had armed guards tracking them. So now the Rhino population must have a good chance of repopulating their original habitat.
The five rhinos from European zoos and safari parks will bring to 20 the number of eastern black rhinos in Akagera. These are in addition to a number of the rhinos from South Africa in 2017.
Animals raised in captivity will live on protected land
Pete Morkel is the veterinarian advising on the animal relocation. Indeed he was part of the 2017 relocation from South Africa. This plan has five rhinos flying from the Czech Republic’s Dvur Kralove zoo. Similarly Pete has many years of work experience with saving the rhino in South Africa.
Indeed, South Africa has the largest, most threatened rhino population in the world. So there in South Africa, poachers kill up to 400 rhino per year. There, poachers slaughter herds of rhinos on contract. They cut off their horns to sell to dealers in the underground markets in Asia.