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Tuesday, 13 June 2017   /   published in Rhinos

Black Rhinos Return to Rwanda

African Parks, Sept 22 2017

Around 20 endangered eastern black rhinos are returning to Rwanda in an extraordinary homecoming after the species disappeared 10 years ago. The rhinos are being moved from South Africa to the Akagera national park in eastern Rwanda, according to the non-profit group that manages protected areas for African governments.

“This extraordinary homecoming will take place over the first two weeks of May,” it said in a statement.

The eastern black rhino, one of the sub-species of the rhinoceros, is in critical danger of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Back in the 1970s, more than 50 black rhinos thrived in the savannah habitat of the Akagera park, but their numbers declined due to wide-scale poaching and the last confirmed sighting was in 2007.

“Rhinos are one of the great symbols of Africa yet they are severely threatened and are on the decline in many places across the continent due to the extremely lucrative and illegal rhino horn trade,” said African Parks boss Peter Fearnhead.

According to the conservationists, there are fewer than 5,000 black rhino in the wild worldwide, with only about 1,000 of the eastern sub-species.