In June, Rhino Conservation Botswana (RCB) was proud to assist President Ian Khama and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) with a delicate operation – relocating four rhinos across Botswana.
The white rhinos – one male and three females – were moved from Khama Rhino Sanctuary near Serowe to Sowa Conservation Park in the Makgadikgadi Pans region. Here it’s hoped they will start a new breeding population. The animals were carefully selected, so we expect numbers will build quickly, boosting Botswana’s wild rhino population and attracting tourists to this spectacular area.
The darting was carried out by Dr. Mmadi Reuben, the DWNP’s head veterinarian and a great team leader. As a result, the operation was very smooth – the animals being efficiently tranquilized and then partially revived for the walk into their specially designed transport crates.
The rhinos were blindfolded to protect their eyes, keep them calm and prevent them from taking a swipe at anyone. Then they were gently guided into the crate thanks to a rope around their horn and some steering by the RCB and DWNP teams.
The crates were then loaded onto trucks and escorted to their new home by RCB and the DWNP’s anti-poaching unit.
Sua Pan is one of three vast salt pans left over from a massive ancient lake in the Makgadikgadi. Extremely arid for much of the year, during good rains the pans flood forming powder blue lakes and attracting wildlife from miles around.
Sowa Conservation Park is the ideal place to start a new breeding population of white rhinos, because it covers a huge area of excellent grazing and benefits from top security. A highly trained anti-poaching unit will watch over the rhinos in their new home.
After the rhinos were released, a herd of eland was also introduced to the site to bolster the region’s wildlife diversity. The conservation park works to educate the surrounding communities about animals, their habits and habitats.
The sodium carbonate (soda ash) and salt mining company Botash is based at Sua, and hopes to link Sowa Conservation Park with the community-run Nata Bird Sanctuary to the north, bringing even more wildlife to the park in the future.
We will let you know how the four rhinos get on in their new home.
We can only continue to build Botswana’s wild rhino populations thanks to your support. An operation like this costs thousands of pounds, and then the hard work really begins – keeping the rhinos safe. Please help us to help them by donating today.