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Milestone Conservation Effort: South Africa’s White Rhinos set for Continental Rewilding

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

The 2,000 white rhinos, which form nearly 15% of Africa's white rhino population, from South Africa’s 7,800-hectare Platinum Rhino farm are poised to make a monumental journey across Africa. NGO African Parks has secured emergency funding enabling the unprecedented rewilding of these significant herbivores into other secured areas across the continent.



Originally established with the noble intention of saving the species from relentless poaching by businessman John Hume, the assertive rewilding operation came into action as a result of the farm facing financial ruin.


Expressing genuine concern for the security and survival of these graceful beasts, Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks, explained "There's an imperative that we make sure that these animals stay safe, stay secure. And as a result of that, those 2000 rhino are at risk.”



With this systematic rewilding project, the rhinos have a new, albeit imbued with challenges, life ahead. As Professor Leith Meyer from the University of Pretoria’s Centre of Veterinary Wildlife Studies points out, the venture will need adaptive strategies, especially in initial stages. However, with time, she is confident, they will perform and survive as wild rhinos, exhibiting natural behaviours.


Whether being translocated to Rwanda or Malawi, these rhinos' migration could make noteworthy impacts on not just rhino conservation but also in preserving other species and aiding the growth of local communities. “I really think this is a wonderful outcome for those going from farm-bred rhino where they can make a big impact on conservation in the continent," expressed Professor Meyer.


As rhinos still face the horrors of poaching in South Africa, this repositioning of the rhinos could indeed alleviate some of the threat and contribute positively to the narrative of these endangered giants.


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