Four orphaned black rhino released back into the wild

Posted on 19 October 2022 By Tsoku Maela

Four orphaned black rhinos were released back into the wild after six years in captivity under the care of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

Four orphaned Black Rhino get their second chance with release back into the wild

Picture: Seyms Brugger/ BRREP

The rhino were relocated to their new home, Babanango Game Reserve, by the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, a partnership between Ezemvelo and WWF. Wildlife poaching has been on the rise over the past few years, and efforts have been made to find alternative solutions to the issue. Black rhinos are among a few other species listed as ‘critically endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, so the release of the animals to establish a new population in South Africa is good news.

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

orphaned black rhino

Seyms Brugger – Babanango Game Reserve

The individuals were orphaned as young calves in separate incidents as a result of poaching and other factors left them abandoned between the ages of 2 months and 1 year old. They were rescued and placed into the boma facilities run by the provincial authority, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife where they received 24-hour care and feeding from members of the game capture team.

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, and the reintroduction of rhino adds an iconic species to the tourism product offering for the reserve, which may drive local economic development. More importantly, it could see an improvement in the conservation of black rhinos in the coming years.

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