Akagera National Park management has explained that Rwanda’ black rhino “Manny” on February 10 succumbed to gastro intestinal disorder.
The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) is ruling out other speculations of animal poaching and oppression.
Manny, was one of the five (two male and three female) critically endangered eastern black rhinos which were successfully relocated in June 2019 to the Akagera National Park from the Czech Republic.
“We can confirm that the rhino was not poached. The evidence suggests a digestive tract disorder, but a final cause of death has not yet been concluded but it was ruled out that he (Manny) would be oppressed,” said David Williams- Mitchell, the EAZA Director of Communications and Membership.
Jan Stejskal, the director of international projects at Dvůr Králové Zoo- where the veterinary results were tested said that the delay in medical results was due to the coronavirus crisis in a non-functional laboratory in South Africa.
‘Manny’ – born in 2011, was 9-year-old by the time of his death and had a potential lifespan of 40.
According to EAZA the rhino was being closely monitored on a daily basis by a specialist tracking team and was being provided supplementary feed to support his continued adjustment.
EAZA said that after detecting a sudden deterioration in his health and feeding behaviour, park management immediately consulted with veterinarians, but he unfortunately succumbed before a veterinary intervention could be made.
Manny and the remaining four rhinos were transferred to Rwanda as an important contribution to ongoing restoration efforts which are helping to build a sustainable and secure wild population of the species in Akagera National Park.
Officials said that the rest of the rhinos are doing well and getting used to the new environment in Rwanda.
“The four remaining animals have continued to be monitored intensively and are reported in good health,” said Jan Stejskal, the director of international projects at Dvůr Králové Zoo.
There are 24 rhinos remaining in Akagera National Park.