Black rhino relocated to Tanzania


Tanzania airlifted nine black rhinos to its Serengeti national park from South Africa part of efforts to restore the population of the critically endangered species.

Rampant poaching during the 1960s and 1970s in Serengeti devastated the population of rare east African black rhinos.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) estimates there were only 133 left in Tanzania by 2015.

Rhinoceros are hunted and killed by poachers for their horn prized in parts of Asia, where it is thought to have medicinal properties.

“The arrival of the nine black rhinos is in line with government’s conservation plans to increase the number in natural habitat,” Tanzania’s deputy natural resources and tourism minister, Constantine Kanyasu, said.

The rhinos, which arrived on Tuesday, were donated by the Grumeti Fund, a non-profit wildlife conservation organisation Kanyasu told Reuters.

This is not the first time rhinos were brought to Tanzania from South Africa. Conservationists flew five black rhinos to the Serengeti in May 2010.

Tanzania’s presidency said in July the country’s elephant and rhino populations are rebounding after a government crackdown dismantled organised criminal networks involved in industrial-scale poaching.