Zim donates 10 rhinos to DRC

HARARE - Zimbabwe has donated 10 white rhinos to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has said.

According to the organisation, the donation is part of a programme to enhance regional rhino conservation.

“According to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Rhino Specialist Group, 98 percent of the world’s white rhino population occurs in just four countries worldwide and that is South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Thus, Zimbabwe is one of the major white rhino range states hence a source country for rhino range expansion to other countries or private stakeholders.

“The translocation is being done adhering to local and international wildlife translocation protocols particularly IUCN rhino pre-translocation guidelines and the African Rhino Range States’ African Rhino Conservation Plan,” ZimParks said in a statement posted on its website.

The rhinos are being sourced from Lake Chivero, Kyle Recreational Parks and Matopo National Park. According to ZimParks, rhinos at Lake Chivero and Kyle Recreational Parks have reached near ecological carrying capacity and the translocation is part of destocking in line with approved national rhino conservation and management strategy.

The translocation is being done because the expansion of national and regional rhino range areas is one of the goals of the African Rhino Conservation plan, which will in turn enhance the security and genetic proliferation of the species at a regional level.

“Zimbabwe is one of the important rhino range countries in the world and has seen steady population growth of both white and black rhinos.

“In the recent past, Zimbabwe has been instrumental in restocking of new and rehabilitated former range areas such as the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Eight black rhinos were sent to the Okavango Delta in 2016 as part of the ...rhino donation to Botswana. The regional restocking exercise done by Zimbabwe is important in showing the goodwill and rhino conservation success story synonymous with the country,” ZimParks said.

DRC lost its Northern white rhino population to extinction largely due to poaching, according to ZimParks, making the restocking exercise a crucial move.

“However, for this exercise, a management and scientific assessment of the security and law enforcement status and potential biological proliferation of the rhinos was done to inform the translocation requirements. Since the Northern white rhino went extinct in the DRC there are no fears of gene dilution with the rhinos intended to be translocated from Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe’s rhinos are Southern white rhinos).

“The security and law enforcement status of the receiving property was assessed based on the local (Zimbabwe) and international (IUCN guidelines) standard pre- translocation requirements. The Zimbabwean government was satisfied that the pre-and post-translocation conditions in DRC met the requisite standards for a successful re-establishment of rhinos in that country,” ZimParks said.

Comments (1)

The DRC is ravaged with internal unrest civil war those Rhinos will be wiped out immediately they set foot on DRC soil. If indeed it is true that this it is A 'DONATION' then its ill-advised otherwise its a corruption saga where a few 'top dogs' at ZimParks a getting massive handshakes just as in the so-called Operation Restore Legitimacy which saw thousands of Zim's military sons perish in the DRC.

Sinyo - 4 September 2018

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