Rhinos Without Borders is proud to announce the successful translocation and release of another 40 rhinos from South Africa to Botswana. Rhino horn remains one of the most sought-after animal products in the illegal wildlife trade. Its value is greater than gold, making rhinos high-value targets for poachers. Rhinos Without Borders is addressing this threat by translocating rhinos vulnerable to poaching incidents and releasing them into the wilderness of Botswana under close protection from that country’s government and the Rhinos Without Borders monitoring teams.
The latest successful translocation brings the initiative closer to its stated goal of moving 100 rhino, with a total of 77 animals now safely in Botswana. Launched in 2014 and spearheaded by conservation-minded travel companies andBeyond and Great Plains Conservation, the Rhinos Without Borders project makes use of the conservation experts from both companies. During the course of the project the team has fine tuned their specialist knowledge, becoming proficient in both the mechanics and the policy involved in moving these massive animals across borders. As the project’s reputation has grown, sourcing the rhino to be moved has become easier, with landowners increasingly contacting the team to take charge of vulnerable animals.
“It took us three years to move the first 37 rhino and now we have translocated 40 in just three weeks,” says andBeyond CEO, Joss Kent.
Preparations for the move began months ago when Rhinos Without Borders was contacted by a South African landowner who expressed concern for the safety of the rhino at their reserve. Rather than take the risk of having the precious animals poached, the wildlife farmer preferred to see them moved to safety in Botswana. The team quickly mobilised to move the vulnerable animals from harm’s way and secure them in preparation for a translocation. Working around the clock, teams in South Africa safeguarded the animals while the Botswana teams prepared for their arrival. In a week-long operation in September, the rhino were moved by road and air, using a combination of commercial and military aircraft as well as heavy trucks. On arrival, the rhino were safely released and given two months to settle in comfortably in their new home.
Spearheaded by companies that are technically rivals yet that both depend on wildlife conservation for their success, Rhinos Without Borders is an excellent example of private sector companies working with government to make an impact on conservation issues.
“Collaboration is the new watchword for us in conservation,” says Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation. “I am sure this latest move breaks some kind of record for animal translocations but the team was so focused on getting the job done that nobody paid attention to the fact that they were making history.”
“Considering the sheer logistical and technical challenge of moving that many rhino in such a short space of time, the huge success of the move represents the incredibly tight cohesion and teamwork that has developed between the andBeyond and
Great Plains Conservation teams,” adds Kent.
As the target of 100 rhino moved draws nearer, the Rhinos Without Borders team is putting ever more focus on monitoring the released animals.
“Our Rhino Monitors are incredibly dedicated to the rhino in their care. Things don’t always go according to plan in nature and we have experienced natural losses in the new population. What moves me most about this is watching the heartfelt reactions of our Rhino Monitors, who are emotionally invested in the success of this new population of rhino, a symbol of hope for the future of the species,” concludes Joubert.
To find out more or to contribute towards future rhino translocations, visit www.rhinoswithoutborders.com.
FYI from E-Global Travel Media (Australia) @ http://www.eglobaltravelmedia.com.au/rhinos-without-border…/