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SOS Rhino : In the News : Khama sanctuary gets Zim black rhino

Khama sanctuary gets Zim black rhino

  11 August, 2006

Daily News Online

SEROWE - A male black rhino, which was translocated from Zimbabwe to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary last Friday brings the total number of such animals in the country to six.

Mombo Game Reserve in the Ngami area hosts four -- two female and two male rhinos while the remaining two are at the sanctuary.

The rhino donated by the Zimbabwean wildlife authorities was officially handed over to the sanctuary on Tuesday for breeding.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary chief Warden Moremi Tjibae explained that the sanctuary was initially set up in 1989 to facilitate the reintroduction of the black rhino in Botswana.

However, he said, four white rhinos were the first to arrive in the sanctuary with their population now standing at 33 in the area.

The objective of setting up the sanctuary has been achieved and the number of the rhinos is gradually increasing, he said.

Tjibae also said the place has created employment for 33 Batswana and a market for artefacts.

Zimbabwes national rhino coordinator Geoffreys Matipano said the donation signified the important relationship between Harare and Gaborone and that the move indicated that the SADC regional efforts to rebuild the rhino population was bearing fruit.

We have the same vision and objectives underlined by the same philosophy and values to control, conserve and sustainably utilise our natural resources, he said.

Mercy Munyadzwe of the Khama Rhino Sanctuary explained that Zimbabwe and Botswana were listed under CITES Appendix 1, which, among others, bars trade in rhinos as they should be conserved for educational and research purposes.

Bangwato Regent Sediegeng Kgamane described wildlife as an important heritage for both countries and regretted that it has never been given the attention it deserved.

He said the rhino species were becoming extinct through poaching and other natural factors and as a result the governments of Botswana and Zimbabwe saw it fit to preserve the species.

This shall go a long way in the preservation history of our wildlife, especially the rhino we have just received and its generations to come, he said.

Currently there are about 3 000 black rhinos in Africa with South Africa having the largest population. BOPA

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