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SOS Rhino : In the News : Zambia seeks endangered black rhinos from Zim

Zambia seeks endangered black rhinos from Zim

  August 20 2003 at 03:24PM

Lusaka - Zambia, where 12 000 black rhinos once roamed free, hopes to import 10 of the animals from Zimbabwe to help re-introduce the endangered creatures to its parks, Zambia's wildlife chief said on Wednesday.

Zambia Wildlife Authority director general Hapenga Kabeta wants to bring the new arrivals in by next year to add to five South African rhinos that arrived in May, and to lift the population to 20 within three years.

He said he hoped a population of 15 would encourage other rhino-inhabited countries to help Zambia obtain the remaining five needed to meet that total.

Demand for rhino horn in the 1970s created a poachers' killing ground, wiping out Zambia's black rhinos along with thousands of elephants and other game animals.

Black rhinos weigh up to 1 350kg, about half the size of white rhinos. Both animals are in fact grey in colour.

There are approximately 3 100 surviving black rhinos, according to the International Rhino foundation conservation group. The animal has been listed on the CITES-I internationally agreed list of most-endangered creatures since 1977.