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SOS Rhino : In the News : New Limpopo game park gets four rhinos

New Limpopo game park gets four rhinos

  Business Day, South Africa
July 14, 2004

Four white rhinos will be relocated to the new Mapungubwe National Park near Musina next week, Limpopo tourism and parks said on Wednesday.

The rhinos would to be relocated to Mapungubwe from the Kruger National Park on July 21 and July 22, spokeswoman Eva Ratau said in a statement.

"Three will be transferred on the first day, and the remaining one the next day."

The Mapungubwe National Park, previously known as the Vhempe Dongola Park, was officially launched under its new name earlier this year during the Indaba International Tourism Exhibition in Durban.

The new name derives from the world-famous Mapungubwe hill which falls with in its boundaries.

Ratau described the arrival of the rhinos as "a piece of unique history".

Recent archaeological discoveries confirmed that rhinos roamed the region two thousand years ago.

Ratau said that during the excavations by the University of Pretoria a gold rhino artefact which had since become a central emblem personifying the character of the region was found.

Other finds indicated that a well-developed smelting and trading industry existed in the area during that period.

Ratau said due to its enormous tourist potential Mapungubwe could form part of an emerging transfrontier park in the region in co-operation with Zimbabwe and Botswana.

"It will be an important strategic and economic component of the transfrontier park."

Ratau said SANParks indicated that the introduction of the rhinos was only the first of a number of rare or endangered species to be introduced into the park.

Accommodation and other tourist facilities in the park were also nearing completion.

"The park was scheduled to be opened to tourists early next year," Ratau said.


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