11 January, 2018
Forty rhinos moved to Botswana
Photo: © Rhinos Without Borders
Rhinos Without Borders has announced 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. 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 and releasing them into the wilderness of Botswana, where they will be closely protected.
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.
“It took us three years to move the first 37 rhino and now we have translocated 40 in just three weeks.”
– Joss Kent, the CEO of &Beyond, a conservation-aware travel company.
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 his 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 2017, 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 governments to make an impact on conservation issues.
“Collaboration is the new watchword for us in 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.”
– Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation.
This work falls under the sub-Programme wildlife conservation and trade, which works to protect rhinoceros and elephant populations and ensure that conditions exist for these species’ survival in the wild. Oak Foundation is pleased to hear of the success of this operation. Well done to the teams involved!