George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trustelephants

News

New orphaned elephant calf This calf was left behind when an elephant herd was chased off some crops. The message from camp is: [more]

Eliska has arrived safely Letter from Ken Allen, CEO of DHL Express [more]

Letter to DHL employees re rhino (Eliska) translocation One of the things of which I am most proud is the support DHL has given to supporting animal conservation. [more]

Rhino translocation The upcoming rhino translocation of Eliska (booked for next week) is now fully arranged and DHL are doing an amazing job of organising their side of everything, including donating the flight, which is the most massive contribution. Dvur Kralove Zoo in Czech Republic and the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) are in constant communication, and the move is being filmed by Maverick. DHL are organising the social media and the hasktag #DHLRhino will be in evidence on Twitter. [link]

Rhino

The African Black Rhino is a magnificent animal whose ancestors have roamed the earth for 60 million years. Now, tragically, this mighty creature has come dangerously close to the end of the trail. Only a couple of decades ago there were still perhaps as many as 65,000 black rhino in Africa. Today, fewer than 3,000 are left and every survivor lives with a price on its head.

The rhino's downfall has been brought about by the value of its horn. In some Arab countries these horns are carved into dagger handles. In Yemen, a single horn can fetch up to $85,000 on the black market. The largest and most consistent demand comes from Asia, especially Taiwan, South Korea and mainland China, whose traditional pharmacists promote powdered rhino horn as an analgesic. There it is worth more than twice its weight in gold.

The serious poaching of rhino began in Kenya during the early 1970s.  From there, like a deadly epidemic, it swept through Tanzania, then into Zambia and Zimbabwe and deep down into Namibia. Uganda's rhinos were wiped out during Idi Amin's regime, when the protection of game reserves collapsed. During this time, rhino in Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic also fell to poachers

Today, wildlife managers are moving rhino like threatened pieces in a chess game. The safest environment for these animals is now inside a securely fenced and guarded sanctuary of the kind in the Mkomazi Game Reserve

In the late 1960s, as many as 250 East African Black Rhino roamed wild in Mkomazi. By the late 1980s there were none left. But, today, with the help of the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trusts, the Black Rhino has returned to Mkomazi.

In 1997, after five years of development and construction of the Mkomazi rhino sanctuary, and careful planning between the trusts, the South African National Parks and the Tanzanian Government, the first translocation of four East African Black Rhino (D.b.michaeli) from South Africa to Mkomazi took place. In 2001, a further four rhino were translocated from South Africa to Mkomazi. The eight resident rhino have settled down and are in magnificent condition. Separation fences were constructed within the sanctuary to facilitate the introduction of the original resident rhino to the newcomers. The sanctuary was designed to take a founder population of twelve animals. Breeding is a lengthy process, and in other sanctuaries can take between four and seven years to start. We hope to increase the number of rhino by a further four, which we hope will help to encourage and fulfill breeding potential.

The finances are daunting: the sanctuary construction costs were high; the capture costs, veterinary fees, transport, compound, security and other attendant costs add up to nearly $90,000 per animal in the first year

June 2009: 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 (see here for fuller details). A short video of highlights can be seen here (click on the arrow that says "Bekjik de film van het transport"