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Three new rhinos arrive from Czech Republic
The three black rhinos (subspecies Diceros bicornis michaeli) were donated to the Director of Wildlife, under the care of the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary and the Trust, by the Dvur Kralove Zoo, Czech Republic. The original proposal was put together by Dr Hamish Currie of Back to Africa, Dr Dana Holeckova, the Director of the Dvur Kralove Zoo and the Trust. Dr Pete Morkel undertook the translocation
Through the efforts of Ted van Dam and the Suzuki Rhino Club in The Netherlands we were able to make this rhino translocation a reality.
The rhinos were crate-trained at Dvur Kralove for 2 months by their own keeper, Honza, and by Berry White.
They were crated at Dvur Kralove Zoo in Czech and then they did a long road trip to Amsterdam. Pete Morkel, Berry and Honza travelled with them. They then rested for the day at Schipol in a privately set-aside hangar. They loaded that night and flew through the night to Kilimanjaro International Airport.
The Martin Air agent, VCK, advised us that the aircraft would arrive at 07.20 in the morning and it touched down at Kilimanjaro at 07.23. We had pre-cleared them as much as was possible so, from the door of the aircraft opening to loading them up on to the waiting trucks took only 1 hour and 5 minutes.
They arrived at Mkomazi at lunch time. The Director of Wildlife, the Chairman of Tanzania National Parks, the Director General of Tanzania National Parks, the Chairman of our Tanzanian Trust, Brigadier Gen. Hashim Mbita and Rose Lugembe, another Trustee, Dr Dana Holeckova, the Deputy British High Commissioner and his wife, as well as many other VIPs and guests were also there.
After all three had been off-loaded, Brigadier Gen. Mbita made a short speech thanking all the parties involved and welcoming these black rhino home to Tanzania.
They are now settling. Berry and Honza are undertaking their care. Pete Morkel will implant their transmitters next week. The Chief Vet for TANAPA, Dr Titus Mlengeya, was here with Dr Idrissa Chuma. Dr Christine Geiger from Frankfurt Zoo and Dr Hamish Currie are also here.
The translocation was made possible through the work of Ted van Dam and the Suzuki Rhino Club of The Netherlands. Support, assistance, advice and logistical back up were also received from WPTF, Back to Africa, Dvur Kralove Zoo, Save the Rhino, Frankfurt Zoologicial Society, Chester Zoo, Grumeti Reserves, TANAPA, the Department of Wildlife and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. The day to day management and security of the Rhino Sanctuary is made possible through the supporters of GAWPT. We are extremely grateful to you all.