Five eastern black rhinos have made the long journey from captivity in Europe to Akagera National Park in Rwanda. The historic 3,700-mile journey was made in an attempt to increase the rhino population in East Africa. Less than 5,000 wild black rhinos and 1,000 eastern black rhinos remain in Africa due to poaching, and it’s hoped that introducing these five young rhinos into the ecosystem will help boost those numbers.
The rhinos were born and spent their first few years in zoos in Europe. Jasiri, Jasmina, and Manny were born in Dvur Kralove in Czech Republic, Olmoti comes from Flamingo Land in the United Kingdom, and Mandela is from Ree Park Safari in Denmark. The translocation of these five eastern black rhinos is a beautiful example of collaboration between zoos and conservation organizations to contribute to the health of an endangered species.
At first, Manny, Jasiri, Jasmina, Mandela, and Olmoti will be kept in enclosures made by wooden pokes, then transferred to larger enclosures, and finally released into the northern part of the national park. As they grow accustomed to their new environment, the rhinos will be studied and their progress carefully monitored.
In 2017, 18 eastern black rhinos were successfully translocated from South Africa to Akagera National Park.