Five eastern black rhinos were successfully deployed on Monday at the Akagera Nature Reserve in Rwanda. Their arrival was necessary to give the species a better future there. Because of intensive poaching, the black rhino has virtually disappeared there.
The two males and three females come from three European animal parks in the Czech Republic, Great Britain, and Denmark. The five started their journey from the Czech Republic on 23 June after months of preparation.
In 2017, South Africa already sent seventeen eastern black rhinos to Rwanda. The population has since grown to twenty animals. New blood was desirable to prevent inbreeding. Worldwide there are only about 1000 specimens left in the wild. Akagera is considered an ideal living environment for rhinos.
According to Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, Eastern Black Rhinoceros are “crucial for nature conservation and biodiversity protection in both Rwanda and throughout Africa.”
The rhinos in Africa are still under great pressure from poachers who kill them for the horns. They are very popular in the illegal market, mainly in Vietnam and China.
The authorities in Kigali want to breathe new life into the national park with the arrival of more wild animals. Tourism is one of the most important sources of income in Rwanda. Around 1.3 million visitors come to the country every year.
Tourists mainly come to the rare mountain gorillas. But now the authorities also want to restore the population of elephants, lions, leopards, and buffalo.