Gonarezhou restock black rhinos

by | Jul 29, 2021 | Business | 0 comments

Mako Jerera

Zimbabwe is re-introducing black rhinos to its second-largest game reserve, Gonarezhou National Park.
This will be the first time that the wildlife sanctuary will be home to the endangered species in nearly 30 years.

The initiative is part of measures to restore and promote biodiversity through the reintroduction of locally extinct species by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in collaboration with the Frankfurt Zoological Society.

This will be the third time that black rhinos will be introduced into the park after the last of the original black rhino population in Gonarezhou was poached into extinction in the 1930s and 1940s.

“The role of reintroduction in Gonarezhou is to establishe a new viable metapopulation of the critically endangered black rhino into a National Park in Zimbabwe. This not only spread the risk from resisting strongholds of black rhino in Zimbabwe but also brought back an essential megaherbivore to the Gonarezhou ecosystem,” said Gonarezhou Trust Director, Mr Hugo van der Westhuizen.

The aim is that these animals will become well established in the park and grow into an international Union for Conservation of Nature (UCN).
Gonarezhou National Park is located in the south of the country, is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park that links South Africa’s Kruger National Park and Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park.

The park is managed by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) in partnership with Frankfurt Zoological Society under what is known as the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust (GCT) since 1 March 2017.
Gonarezhou Conservation Trust Director Van Der Westhuizen said that more than 20 black rhinos have been released into the park lately.
“There has been an absence of black rhinos at Gonarezhou National Park for 27 years and with support from government and our private partners it was possible to reintroduce a viable population of black rhinos into the park,” he said.

The reintroduced of black rhinos came from other wildlife areas, and the relocation of the animals is being done under the guidance of an expert team comprising experienced ecologists and veterinarians.
The rhino is targeted by poachers for its horns and are regarded as critically endangered species and are protected under the Parks and Wildlife Act.
Zimbabwe is believed to hold the world’s fourth-largest population of rhinos and boasts of a rich wildlife conservation system.
Culturally, black rhinos are a significant symbol of power, pride, and trust for the Shangaan people and are a major draw for tourists in the country.