2,000 rhinos rescued from private breeding – animals are to be released into the long term
Frankfurt, 05. September 2023. In southern Africa, more than half of the rhinos now live on private land. The protective measures against poaching are costly and expensive. In order to cover the costs of this, income from safari tourism is essential. Only in this way can the animals move around freely and protected in the national parks in the long term.
The demand for rhinoceros horns in Asia has greatly decimated their population in South Africa and the neighboring countries Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia over the decades. According to current figures from the South African Ministry of Environmental Protection, 231 rhinos were poached in South Africa between January and June 2023. Compared to the same period in 2022, the total number of rhinos poached throughout the country has decreased, especially in the Kruger National Park, but poaching has only shifted.
Thus, the less secured provincial parks in KwaZulu-Natal are increasingly becoming the target of organized poaching. In the first six months of this year, 143 rhinos were killed here, an increase from 133 in the first half of 2022. Most of the incidents occurred in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi-Park, a game reserve that has been strongly targeted by poacher gangs in recent years.
South Africa is home to the majority of the rhinos remaining on the continent with 81 percent of the endangered white rhinoceros and 33 percent of the black rhinoceros.
African Parks plans to release 2,000 rhinos from breeding
The non-profit organization African Parks, which manages wildlife protection areas throughout Africa, has now set a milestone in terms of species protection. The NGO has bought the world’s largest private breeding farm for rhinos, Platinum Rhino, to rescue the animals and bring them to safe and sustainably managed protected areas throughout Africa. The conservationists plan to re-introduce 2,000 southern white rhinoceros over the next decade.
The benefits of the reintroduction of the 2,000 white rhinos, which are estimated to account for around 15 percent of the total remaining wild population, will be far-reaching. Once the rhinos are located in the national parks, they will contribute to intact ecosystems by ensuring the nutrient cycle, storing carbon and increasing tourism revenues for the local population. Conversely, the income from safari tourism contributes to securing the protection of rhinos in the long term.
„Species protection is an issue that concerns all of us and especially as travelers, we can make our contribution to preserving endangered species such as the rhinoceros. Through the national park fees charged, protective measures can be implemented that ensure the safety of animals and open up new perspectives in ecotourism for local people,“ explains Hanna Kleber, initiator of Voice4Africa.
VOICE4AFRICA is an initiative of the KLEBER GROUP, a full-service PR agency with a special focus on tourism and many years of expertise in Africa. Together with African tour operators, the initiative promotes responsible tourism to Africa as a means of international understanding and a driver for sustainable development. Voice4Africa is the winner of the Corps Touristique Award for International Understanding 2023.
Hanna Kleber and Julia Kleber | Management
Friederike Galuschky | Senior Consultant Communications
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Photo: Rhino (c) Voice4Africa