If you want to see the news history of Mr BRRRRR, choose him from the list of categories
The new rhinos have arrived!
Well, it was an amazing day. DHL were absolutely fantastic and the whole operation was text-book. The aircraft touched down at Kilimanjaro at 0700: a 757 with a rhino painted on to the side. The welcoming party was:
Tony, Bernard Mchomvu (Chairman of our Tanzanian Trust)
The British High Commissioner, Diane Corner, and her husband, Peter Stocker
Dr Idrissa Chuma and his veterinary colleagues from TANAPA
Kenya Wildlife Services Wardens, Mark Cheruiyot and Wilson Njue.
Swissport, the handling agents, again did a great and professional job with off-loading the animals and processing all the paperwork.
The off-loading took some time and, with the use of the lorries loaned to the operation by TANAPA, Grumeti Reserves and Frankfurt Zoological Society, they headed to Mkomazi - a long slow journey, arriving there by about 3pm: four lorries with a TANAPA armed lead vehicle and an impressive motorcade as back-up. There were quite a few stops along the way, but the rhinos travelled really well. They were greeted at the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary by:
Hon Minister Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism
Hon Regional Commissioner
Chairman of the Board of TANAPA
Director General and Trustees and Wardens of TANAPA
Director of Wildlife.
Other members of parliament were also there with the Same District Commissioner.
The Minister and the British High Commissioner shook hands in front of the crates and the rhinos were then taken into the Rhino Sanctuary. They were off-loaded from their crates and into their holding compounds. All three walked out of their crates fairly quickly, had a big feed and a drink and a quiet night. Everyone was absolutely exhausted, but it was a very smooth-running, drama-free event. Pete Morkel did a fantastic job and he will be here for a few days to settle it all down. All our guys here were great and Pete works very, very well with them. Berry White and Claire Lupton, the rhino keepers, also did a wonderful job.
The Tanzanian press were here filming as were the TANAPA PR team. Speeches were made about the work of the Trust in Mkomazi and the great cooperation between Great Britain and Tanzania. BBC are filming for a broadcast as a news piece on Tuesday.
We would like to thank The Aspinall Foundation, DHL, Tusk Trust, Suzuki Rhino Club, Dr Peter Morkel and the TANAPA wardens and vets for such great contributions to all aspects of this rhino translocation.