New rhino monitoring plane reaches places other aircraft cannot go

Map Ives, RCB's director, and Mark Flatt, our pilot conservationist, are so proud of our new rhino monitoring plane

Map Ives, RCB's director, and Mark Flatt, our pilot conservationist, are so proud of our new rhino monitoring plane

Rhino Conservation Botswana (RCB) is the proud owner of a shiny green and tan Aviat Husky A-1C plane. This versatile and nimble little aircraft is specially designed for getting in and out of hard-to-access places, so it's perfect for helping us to monitor and protect Botswana's rhinos across the vast and sometimes inaccessible wetlands of the Okavango Delta.

The Aviat Husky A-1C plane is perfect for rhino monitoring over hard to reach places.

The Aviat Husky A-1C plane is perfect for rhino monitoring over hard to reach places.

The reliable and safe Aviat Husky (or African wild dog, as we like to call it) plane has excellent fuel economy and will work tirelessly to keep a watchful eye on our increasing population of black and white rhinos as they explore their new home and set up their territories.

It will also help us to resupply for our monitoring teams wherever they are in the field, so that they do not have to waste valuable hours returning to a base. This will free them up to cover a larger area, and go wherever the rhinos go. 

The rhino monitoring plane is adorned with the RCB logo on its rear fin

The rhino monitoring plane is adorned with the RCB logo on its rear fin

This plane is arguably the most essential and important asset RCB owns – in the capable hands of our highly skilled pilot, Mark Flatt, it will enable us to respond faster than ever, go (almost) anywhere and help give us the upper hand against poachers.

Whenever we need to respond quickly to a situation, such as when our officers have not seen a particular rhino for a day or two, we can take the plane up, find the animal quickly and assess the situation. If we have any cause for concern, we can make the decision from the air to guide in our local ground team for a closer look, or to take immediate action, such as turning back a rhino heading into a less safe area or towards a local village. 

The plane will also be used for charming missions, such as checking up on the wellbeing of rhino mothers and their new calves. 

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