In Africa, three of the five critically endangered black rhinos from the Czech Safari Park Dvůr Králové were successfully released into the wild in Akagera National Park in Rwanda.
Rhinos completely disappeared from Rwanda’s natural environment during the genocide in the 1990s, which resulted in a massive increase in poaching during the period of chaos. In recent years, these animals have started to make their comeback despite continued threats from modern-day poachers.
This year, Safari Park Dvůr Králové contributed to their repopulation in the wild after staff transported five black rhinos to Rwanda. The journey took thirty hours and it was the largest transport of these animals from Europe to Africa in history.
The animal keepers released a trio of the youngest rhinos – the two females Jasiri and Olmoti and Mandela, a male – who were determined to have the best chance of adapting to the new environment. The other two older rhinos will be released shortly.
Until the release, the rhinos were placed in a large fenced-in area of savannah, which allows experts to monitor their physical condition.
“The release of rhinos from the zoo into the wild is evidence that breeding rare animals in human care can make a significant contribution to their conservation in the wild. Helping animals in their original environment is becoming an important part of the work of modern zoos and safari parks,” said Přemysl Rabas, director of Safari Park Dvůr Králové.
The Brewery of Safari Park Dvůr Králové along with Pilsner Urquell brewery have also launched a project to support rescue activities focused on rhinos. People can contribute to this cause by purchasing the “African Coffee” beer special from either brewery.