Quantcast

Black Rhinos Return to Chad 50 Years After Being Wiped Out

Animals
Black rhinoceros were driven to extinction in Chad due to their prized horns. CC0 Public Domain

The black rhino will return to the Central African nation of Chad after five decades of poaching drove the species to local extinction.

Six black rhinos were airlifted Thursday from South Africa to Zakouma National Park in Chad, a journey of more than 3,000 miles.


According to the WWF, black rhino numbers dramatically dropped 98 percent between 1960-1995 mainly due to human appetite for their distinctive horns. There are around 5,400 today. Much of its population is in South Africa, which is home to about 2,000 of the pachyderms.

Reuters reported that the two bulls and four cows were sedated and confined in special crates to ensure they do not cause an in-flight commotion. Once the mammals are settled, the hope is that they establish a breeding herd.

The conservation initiative came after the governments of South Africa and Chad signed a memorandum of understanding in October 2017 to enable the translocation of the rhinos. The aim is to aid the long-term survival of this critically endangered animal.

According to the campaign website, "this is a hopeful story about the revival of a highly threatened species, as well as the trajectory of Zakouma—a park that was once ravaged by poaching and insecurity but has been transformed into a secure and flourishing park since 2010."

Zakouma National Park is managed by the non-government organization African Parks in partnership with the government of Chad.

"Usually headlines on rhinos are about their demise; today it is about their brighter future," said African Parks CEO Peter Fearnhead in a statement.

African Parks has successfully translocated the animals before, including 18 black rhinos to Akagera National Park in Rwanda in 2017. The organization also reintroduced black rhinos to Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi in 2003.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pixabay

By Lisa Wartenberg, MFA, RD, LD

Pears are sweet, bell-shaped fruits that have been enjoyed since ancient times. They can be eaten crisp or soft.

Read More Show Less
Photon-Photos / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The desert of Australia's Northern Territory has the iconic Ayers Rock, but not much else. Soon, it may be known as home to the world's largest solar farm, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
A Boeing 737-800 BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter) is marked "Prime Air" as part of Amazon Prime's freight aircraft during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France on June 22. Mustafa Yalcin / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

It's Prime Day! The day when thousands of increasingly absurd items are discounted so deeply that you suddenly need items you never knew existed. Yes, I do need a hotdog shaped toaster next to me while I watch this Fast & Furious seven movie box set! And I need it in my house today!

Read More Show Less

By Peter Sinclair

The weather in many areas across the U.S. has been – and certainly throughout America's heartland was for much of the past winter and spring – frightful.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
There's a short window between when a tick bites and when it passes on bacteria or virus. MSU Ag Communications, Courtesy Dr. Tina Nations, CC BY-ND

By Jerome Goddard

When it comes to problems caused by ticks, Lyme disease hogs a lot of the limelight. But various tick species carry and transmit a collection of other pathogens, some of which cause serious, even fatal, conditions.

Read More Show Less
tomosang / Moment / Getty Images

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

Say goodbye to one of the dreamiest things about childhood. In the Midwest, fireflies are dying off.

Read More Show Less
A new Climate Emergency Fund contains more than $625,000 which will go to grassroots climate action groups like Extinction Rebellion and students who have organized weekly climate strikes all over the world. @ExtinctionR / Twitter

By Julia Conley

Heeding the call of grassroots campaigners, several wealthy philanthropists announced Friday a new fund that will raise money for climate action groups around the world.

Read More Show Less