Mozambique’s Zinave National Park (PNZ), in the southern province of Inhambane, on Wednesday received eight rhinos, as part of the drive to boost the stock of wild animals in the park.
The animals are from both species of rhinoceros found in Africa – seven of them are black rhinoceros (scientific name – Diceros bicornis) and one is a white rhino (ceratotherium sinum). The PNZ is a component of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, set up between Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe,
The rhinos come from a South African private reserve (Manketti Reserve), under the partnership agreement between the Mozambican Government, through the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), the Peace Parks Foundation and the Exxaro Mine, as part of the repopulation of animals in the park.
The repopulation operation was carried out by the Peace Parks Foundation, an entity operating in the field of conservation in Mozambique, which invested 4.6 million dollars, covering the translocation, protection and security of the animals, payments to inspectors, and acquisition of vehicles, especially a helicopter.
The new rhinos join a group of 20 already existing in the park, also donated as part of the agreements with the South African mining company to promote animal migration in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region, as a way to safeguard the reproduction of endangered species.
Later this year, 40 giraffes will be translocated to PNZ from the Kruguer National Park in South Africa.
Reacting to the operation, Park Administrator, António Abacar, said that the arrival of the new rhinos enhances the tourism product in the PNZ based on diversified fauna, including the so-called “Big Five” (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant).
Without giving any figures, Abacar pointed out that after the initial introduction of rhinos, since June, the park has seen an avalanche of tourists.
The ANAC source added that, in view of animal repopulation in the PNZ, work is also underway to expand the fauna sanctuary from 18,600 hectares to 30,000 hectares, to increase carrying capacity.
Rhinos in Mozambique are under extreme threat, having suffered radical decline over the last 20 years, due to poaching, despite recent advances in surveillance.
As part of the fight against poaching, the Mozambican authorities arrested last month the head of a dangerous poaching ring, Simao Ernesto Valoi, known as “Boss Navara”, regarded as the mastermind of rhino poaching.