It is no longer news that the increasing demand for Rhino horns which are believed to be priceless in Asia has resulted in Rhinos being targeted all over Africa leading to a dwindling population and subsequent extinction.
According to statistics, the over 1,028 rhinos killed in South Africa alone during 2017 works out to be nearly three rhinos killed every day.
The smaller black rhino remains critically endangered, with about 5,000 left. Asian species of rhino have suffered even more, with 3,500 Indian one-horned rhinos left in Nepal and India, fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos (known for their long hair), and only about 60 Javan rhinos left in the world.
Zimbabwe is donating 10 white rhinos to the Democratic Republic of Congo to re-establish a population driven to extinction by poachers a decade ago, Zimbabwe’s wildlife authority said.
The rhinos were being captured and would be moved from Victoria Falls later this week or early next, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) spokesman Tinashe Farawo said on Monday.
Congo’s white rhinos lived in Garamba National Park near the border with South Sudan but it was not clear where the animals would be located.
Wildlife protection is complicated in Congo by lawlessness and militia violence that endures 15 years after the end of a war that killed millions, mainly from hunger and disease.
“The Zimbabwean Government was satisfied that the pre and post-translocation conditions in … (Congo) met the requisite standards for a successful re-establishment of rhinos,” a ZimParks statement said.
ZimParks and conservationists said moving the rhinos from Zimbabwe would strengthen the gene pool. Zimbabwe had about 800 black and white rhinos in 2016 and is one of just four countries with nearly all the world’s white rhinos.
Their horns are prized in China and southeast Asia.
“Moving rhinos from one place to another is essential to ensure good genetic diversity across the population,” said Emma Pereira, a spokeswoman for Save the Rhino, a London-based group. “We hope any move between countries is done with the correct expertise and thoughtful planning.”
Poachers also target mountain gorillas, one of the world’s most endangered species which is found only on a spine of volcanic mountains straddling Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda.
Their numbers have recovered in recent years thanks to intensive conservation efforts.
According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, there has been a 26 percent fall in rhino poaching in South Africa. The report shows that 'only'…
Image Credit: Africa.com