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Environmentalists sent 30 white rhinos to Rwanda to protect them: NPR


A tranquilized rhino is guided in crates in the andBeyond Phinda private reserve in South Africa.

Martin Meyer & African Parks


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Martin Meyer & African Parks

Environmentalists sent 30 white rhinos to Rwanda to protect them: NPR

A tranquilized rhino is guided in crates in the andBeyond Phinda private reserve in South Africa.

Martin Meyer & African Parks

Environmentalists transported 30 white rhinos from South Africa to Rwanda last week in what they say is the largest rhino translocation ever.

The approximately 3,000 km journey took the rhinos to their new home in Akagera National Park, where advocates hope the animals will be able to establish a new breeding stronghold and escape widespread poaching. which endangers their species.

“Introducing safe and unspoiled wild landscapes is vital for the future of vulnerable species like the white rhino, which are under considerable human pressure,” said Peter Fearnhead, CEO of the non-profit conservation organization African Parks, in a statement.

Environmentalists sent 30 white rhinos to Rwanda to protect them: NPR

Locals celebrate the arrival of rhinos near Akagera National Park in Rwanda.

Gael Vande Weghe and African parks


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Gael Vande Weghe and African parks

Environmentalists sent 30 white rhinos to Rwanda to protect them: NPR

Locals celebrate the arrival of rhinos near Akagera National Park in Rwanda.

Gael Vande Weghe and African parks

White rhinos are considered “near threatened” by the World Wildlife Fund, which estimates that there are around 18,000 in protected areas and private game reserves. Authorities say their population decline is largely attributable to poaching and demand for rhino horns.

Each of the 30 rhinos that arrived in Rwanda on Saturday were fitted with a tracking transmitter for constant surveillance. Authorities have also deployed an anti-poaching dog unit and helicopter surveillance to protect the new arrivals.

A specialist veterinarian and others will monitor the group of ungulates daily as they settle into life in Akagera, where authorities hope they will have a safer habitat.

Environmentalists sent 30 white rhinos to Rwanda to protect them: NPR

White rhinos are introduced to Akagera National Park in Rwanda.

Gael Vande Weghe and African parks


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Gael Vande Weghe and African parks

Environmentalists sent 30 white rhinos to Rwanda to protect them: NPR

White rhinos are introduced to Akagera National Park in Rwanda.

Gael Vande Weghe and African parks

“This is an opportunity for Rwanda to dramatically advance its contribution to rhino conservation, with Akagera poised to become a globally significant sanctuary for black and now white rhinos,” said Ariella Kageruka, Rwanda Development Board Acting Tourism Officer. “This is timely for the conservation of these incredibly endangered species.”

The rhinos originated from the private andBeyond Phinda Game Reserve in South Africa, which is said to have managed and increased its rhino population for over 30 years.

The transfer was undertaken by African Parks, the Rwanda Development Board and andBeyond and funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

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