Peace Parks Foundation recently announced the birth of the first female white rhino at the Zinave National Park in Mozambique. The announcement comes after many years of effort between the foundation and the Mozambique and South African governments to relocate the endangered white rhinos to the Zinave National Park.
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The foundation began an initiative to relocate endangered species to the national park six years ago, with the foundation recently relocating 19 white rhinos from South Africa to neighboring Mozambique. These efforts aim at repopulating the white rhino, whose numbers have been plunging.
The population of wild rhinos across Africa has dropped more than 60% since the 1970s. Among the contributing factors to the huge losses are droughts, habitat loss and poaching.
Rhinos are killed for their horns and are constantly threatened by poachers. In South Africa, more than 400 rhinos were poached in the year 2021. The project managers for the relocation say that they have to ensure high security during the process.
“We’ve got an armed convoy that travels with us to make sure that we get safely to the border post,” Marius Fuls, the project manager for the rhino translocation program, said. “And then in Mozambique side, they’ve got another armed convoy taking over from us.’’
There are two species of rhinos in Africa: white and black. The white rhino has a conservation status of near threatened, while the black rhinos are critically endangered.
The Peace Parks Foundation is also working on plans to relocate black rhinos to the Zinave National Park. The population of black rhinos has dropped by over 97% since the 1960s according to the African Wildlife Foundation.
The species relocation program has helped relocate 2,400 of 14 different animal species to the peaceful Zinave National Park of Mozambique. The Park was once home to diverse species of wildlife, but most were wiped out during the 1977 civil war that lasted 15 years.
The park is now the first national park of Mozambique to host “the big five” since the introduction of white rhinos. This means that visitors to the park can spot lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos.
Via ABC News
Lead image via Pexels