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Rhinos from South Africa to be reintroduced in Mozambique

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After 40 years of being locally extinct, rhinos are being reintroduced to Zinave National Park.

The project – spearheaded by Exxaro Resource and Peace Parks Foundation – aims to bring both the critically endangered black rhino and the near threatened white rhino from South Africa into the park.

White rhino. Credit: H&T PhotoWalks/Flickr Commons

This falls in line with a treaty formed between the governments of Mozambique and South Africa in 2002 to establish the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. The project is not the first of its kind; since 2016 more than 2 300 game animals have been reintroduced into Zinave, according to the Peace Parks Foundation.

More than 40 white and black rhinos will be translocated from South Africa over a one- to two-year period to a specially constructed high security sanctuary within Zinave.

For further protection of the rhinos, 32 additional rangers with specialist training will be deployed in the sanctuary and surrounding areas. An additional 20 sanctuary guards will be deployed for first-line detection of potential poachers. A helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft has been integrated into a rapid response unit to increase surveillance and swift counter-poaching actions.

Ms Ivete Maibaze, Mozambique’s Minister of Land and the Environment said that ‘with the host of stringent protection and monitoring measures in place, it is envisioned that this historic translocation will establish a viable breeding population of rhinos in a Mozambique national park for the first time in decades. In addition, conferring Big Five status to the park will be greatly beneficial for the emerging eco-tourism industry of this spectacular wilderness and for the communities around Zinave National Park’.

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