Black Rhinos
Photo Credit: Nicola Gerrard | Love Africa Marketing

Four black rhinos were recently released back into the wild after six years of being raised in captivity and waiting on the perfect new home.

 

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (17 November 2022) – Four orphaned black rhinos, raised in captivity, were released back into the wild in October 2022, thanks to the joint efforts of Babanango Game Reserve, Conservation Outcomes, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, WWF BRREP and Wildlife ACT.

The orphaned Black Rhino were released into the Babanango Game Reserve. The relocation and reintroduction of the species into this area was a first. Along with the orphans, several wild black rhinos were selected and translocated from other reserves in KZN. Some of the animals were airlifted where the terrain made it difficult for trucks to reach.

The orphans had spent the last six years in captivity under the care of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Black rhinos are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species and are severely threatened by poaching and habitat loss. Therefore, the identification of suitable habitats and the establishment of new populations marks a significant milestone in the growth and protection of the species in South Africa.

“It is a big responsibility and a privilege at the same time for Babanango Game Reserve to be part of conserving these iconic species.” Musa Mbatha – Conservation Manager, Babanango Game Reserve.

While the rhinos each have a unique story, they all needed care from a young age either due to the poaching of their mothers, or abandonment. They arrived at Ezemvelo between the ages of two months and one year old. During the first months of their time at the provincial authority, they received 24-hour care and feeding from members of the game capture team.

The Babanango Game Reserve is a majority community-owned 20 000-hectare game reserve in the heart of Zululand. The establishment and rewilding of Babanango Game Reserve is one of the largest conservation projects of its kind in KwaZulu-Natal over the last 30 years. Over 75% of the land is invested from the surrounding communities, headed by the Emcakwini, Kwangono and Esibongweni Community Trusts.

The reintroduction of Rhinos is important for conservation and adds an iconic species to the tourism product offering for the reserve, driving local economic development. To aid in their protection, each rhino was fitted with a tracking device which will be monitored by Wildlife ACT to ensure the rhinos settle into their new environment.

Take a look at the release of the orphans below. It is a heartwarming sight to see them back in the wild.


Sources: Love Africa Marketing
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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