Rhinos from Czech zoo expected in Rwanda

Five black rhinos are expected to be flown into the Akagera National Park in Rwanda from the Czech Republic, with Kigali eyeing more tourism revenues.

The translocation of the critically-endangered species was announced last week by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

The rhinos, expected on June 23, were born and raised in a zoo and will be nurtured before being released into the wild.

“The translocation of five rhinos from European zoos to Rwanda will further enhance the natural ecosystem in Akagera National Park,” said Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB. “Today, poaching is almost non-existent in our four national parks, and we are confident that these rhinos will thrive in their natural habitat. They are a positive addition to Akagera, a park where tourists can now visit to see the African Big Five.”

In 2017, 17 rhinos were flown into Akagera Park from South Africa, bringing back the species 10 years after it had disappeared from Rwanda due to poaching.

The rhinos, Jasiri, Jasmina and Manny were born in Dvur Kralove in the Czech Republic; Olmoti comes from Flamingo Land in the UK and Mandela is from Ree Park Safari in Denmark, African parks said on its website. The three females and two males, aged between two and nine, are part of the EAZA Ex-situ Programme and have been donated to RDB, which, together with African Parks, manages Akagera park.