A sedated Black Rhino is carried by military helicopter away from a poaching area in the hills of the Eastern Cape, South Africa, to a new home.
The move was organised by World Wildlife Fund who transported the herd of rhinos 1,000 miles to fresh breeding ground in the northern Limpopo province first by helicopter then by trucks.
The rhinos were darted and put to sleep before being lifted. Black rhinos are under threat across Africa, where poachers in parks and private reserves kill and maim them for their horns.
“This was possible because of the far-sightedness of the Eastern Cape Provincial government who were prepared to become partners in the project for the sake of black rhino conservation in South Africa,” said WWF’s project leader Dr Jacques Flamand. “The operation was difficult due to the number of animals and the long distances involved. But wildlife veterinarians, conservation managers and capture teams from WWF, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, SANParks and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife worked cooperatively to ensure the success of the translocation. We all learned from one another and were united in a common cause.”
“We are a young organisation and this is a great opportunity to be giving something back to the national conservation effort,” said Dave Balfour, conservation director of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. “We are excited about getting ourselves integrated into national conservation. A critical element of future conservation success will be the ability of agencies with a common interest to work together. This was a great example of that.”