Three European parks are set to send back critically endangered eastern black rhinos to their Rwandan original habitat, twenty four years after they disappeared from Akagera National Park.
According to Akagera Park Communication Office, five rhinos including two females will be transported to Rwanda from Ebeltoft Zoo in Denmark, Flamingo Land in the United Kingdom and Dvur Kralove zoo in the Czech Republic.
They will reach the country in June 2019, depending on conditions and logistics.
“They have been selected for release based on the diversity of genes and demography that they can bring to the existing population of black rhinos in Akagera National Park in Rwanda,” Sarah Hall, Akagera National Park Communications Director, told KT Press on Thursday.
This batch will join eighteen other black rhinos that were brought to the park in May 2017 from South Africa.
However, they will not settle in the same zone of the park.
“They will initially be kept separate from 18 eastern black rhinos that were introduced to a different part of the park from South Africa in May last year,” Premysl Rabas, director of Dvur Kralove zoo was quoted as saying.
“Later on, the rhinos will be allowed to interbreed.”
Rwanda is part of the big five country.
The Akagera National Park which hosts the Big Five is managed by African Parks African Parks, a conservation agency that manages national parks and protected areas on behalf of governments across Africa.
Prince Henry of Wales was appointed president of the agency in December 2017.