‘Rhino Relo’

June 1, 2010  By: Gretchen

More than twenty years after being brought to South Africa, a group of five black rhinos were recently returned home to Tanzania, BuaNews reported. The animals were transported by air on a Lockhead Hercules C130 and are among a group of 32 that will eventually be relocated to Tanzania.

Eight rhinos of a species that is not indigenous in South Africa were imported to the country and kept at the Addo Elephant National Park about 20 years ago. The animals were later moved from the park to a private nature reserve and replaced with an indigenous species.

Over the years, the original eight rhinos increased in number to 61.

The Tanzanian Wildlife Authorities approached the Chief Executive of South Africa National Parks (SANParks) last year asking if was possible to return the rhinos to Tanzania as the species had become extinct in its original home range. SANParks agreed but wildlife authorities from both countries had to wait for the right conditions to move the animals.

The relocation of the animals has been described as a “fairytale” ending.