With the start of the new year we would like to update you on where were are at with our Rhino Reintroduction Programme.
Progress is being made toward the reintroduction of black rhino into Gonarezhou National Park, which has now been firmly set to take place in 2020. A feasibility study is currently underway to fully assess various aspects such as habitat and security, and all the appropriate measures are being put into place to make this dream a reality.
Over the last year we have a recruited another 28 Rangers who have all go through rigorous training, and all our current Rangers completed fresher training courses last year.
A brief history of black rhino in Gonarezhou
The last of the original black rhino population in the area was killed sometime between the 1930s and 1940s. This is a vague timeline, but with 500 000 hectares of remote and rugged bush country a more exact estimate is not possible. A reintroduction project between 1969 and 1977 brought 77 black rhino back into the area. Their numbers grew to 140 before the civil war in neighbouring Mozambique resulted in Gonarezhou being closed to the public. The wave of rhino poaching sweeping through the continent in the early 1980’s did not spare Gonarezhou, and by 1994 the black rhino population was tragically locally extinct for the second time.