AKAGERA - Preparations are underway to enable Akagera National Park receive an unspecified number of the endangered Black Rhinos.
Kenya and Tanzania have plans of relocating the rare species to neighbouring countries, under a plan to increase the endangered animals and boost tourism in the region, wildlife officials have announced.
If it goes as planned, Wildlife Authorities within the EAC will consider relocating some of the 709 remaining Black Rhinos which predominantly live in Kenya and Tanzania, to other neighbouring states including Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia in order to save them from extinction.
According to Fidel Ruzigandekwe, the Director of Conservation at Rwanda Development Board/ Tourism and Conservation, Rwanda welcomes the idea and has already embarked on plans to make Akagera National Park one of the habitats of the rhinos.
“We have already embarked on plans to have the park fenced all round to keep away commercial poachers who are responsible for the extinction of the Rhino and we are also training rangers who will keep watch of these Rhinos once they are relocated here,” Ruzigandekwe told The New Times.
It is estimated that if the animals are distributed across the region and given great attention, by 2039 they would have multiplied to a population of 3,000 Rhinos with minimal chances of extinction, according to reports.
The move is meant to protect the endangered giants from diseases and catastrophes which would wipe them out since they are crammed in one place.
“This will be done not to lure potential tourists but for conservation of one of the most threatened species which are on the verge of extinction,” explained the official.
Ruzigandekwe added that Akagera National Park which is found in the Eastern part of the country was found to be a suitable habitat for the Rhino due to its plain savannah grassland feature and the flat terrain; adding that Rwanda will host over 20 of them in the park.
Wildlife authorities and other conservationists agreed to the plan after a one-day meeting in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi on Monday. They will hold further meetings over the next two years to pin down the details.
Moving rhinos is a complicated process because of the animals’ weight, an adult can weigh more than a ton and the distance to be covered among the six countries will be vast.