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SOS Rhino : In the News : Wild animal park joins battle to help endangered species

Wild animal park joins battle to help endangered species

  26 May 2004
Bedford Today
Times & Citizen

Whipsnade Wild Animal Park has joined the fight to save the critically endangered Northern White Rhino from extinction.

Experts estimate there are only 30 of the rhino left living in their last remaining natural habitat ∆ the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Conservationists in the area have made an urgent appeal for funds, and last week Whipsnade's owners, the Zoological Society of London, made a donation of £2,500 to the cause.

The society's experts met with rhino conservationist Kes Smith at Whipsnade last week to discuss the situation and lend their support.

ZSL's international zoo chief Nick Lindsay said: "The situation with the Northern White Rhino is at crisis point, so we were keen to respond to the appeal for funds and continued support.

"With increased funding the rangers can be provided with vehicles and training, and it will allow aerial recognisance so poachers will know there's an effective force which will resist their systematic killing of the rhino and elephant in the park."

The risk to the Northern White Rhino has escalated due to conflict in the region, particularly the civil war in Sudan.

Illegal forces occupying the Garamba National Park are attempting to extract as much profit as possible by poaching rhino and elephant for their ivory and horn.

The Northern White Rhino has become one of the three most endangered rhino species on the planet, along with the Vietnamese Javan and Cameroon Black Rhino.

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