With more rhino now killed each year than there are being born, the species is facing a real threat of extinction. Rhinos Without Borders has turned towards translocation as one of the answers to ensuring the future survival of the rhino.
Earlier this year, the first batch of rhino was moved from a high-risk area in South Africa to a safer location in Botswana. One of the rhino earmarked for the move was a female, who was translocated along with a younger calf. While carrying out routine blood tests, the team was delighted to discover that she was also pregnant at the time of the move. Having successfully settled down in her new home in Botswana, the female has given birth just in time for World Rhino Day.
“One of the aims of the Rhinos Without Borders project is to create a new breeding population of rhino in Botswana as an evolutionary ‘insurance policy’ against the possible extinction of the species. This is a real possibility if the rate of poaching in South Africa remains at its current horrific levels,” explains Joss Kent, &Beyond CEO. “We view translocations as critical to the survival of the species and are proud to have been part of the team responsible for bringing this new life into a world where it can grow and thrive without fear of losing its life to poachers.”
Derek Joubert says “Sometimes I get news that just lifts my spirits. Today’s news that one of the female rhinos we moved under the Rhinos Without Borders project has given birth is such an endorsement of this initiative. One more rhino can be added to the roster and runs free now in the wild as a symbol of hope. With global support there is hope for the future of rhinos. This little one is a real rhino ambassador.”
A partnership between two leading conservation and tourism companies, &Beyond and Great Plains Conservation, the Rhinos Without Borders initiative aims to move 100 rhino from high density populations that are attracting more and more poaching. The animals are being translocated to Botswana, a country that boasts low numbers of rhino, combined with an excellent anti-poaching record.