5 Eastern Black Rhinos have been introduced in Akagera National Park in order to boost the tourism industry in Rwanda. Finally Rwanda’s dream of harboring the big five in a variety is being cemented by introducing 5 eastern black rhinos into akagera national park. The introduction of the 18 rhinos from south Africa spearheaded by African park with support from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation was the previous batch of rhinos brought to the park. Rwanda is so determined to enhance her ecological richness with the introduction of these 5 eastern black rhinos.
Rhinos are critically endangered animals as listed by international union for conservation of nature with approximately 1000 remaining in existence in the wild because they are on a high demand in the black market in china and Vietnam for their horns. Once akagera national park was a prominent home for more than 50 rhinos and due to poaching of the rhinos, they disappeared from Rwanda with no trace and the last rhino was sighted in 2007.
The 5 more rhinos an additional to already existing 17 of which two are males and 3 are female eastern black rhino named Jasiri, jasimina, Dvur, olomoti and Mandela. These black eastern rhinos were born and raised in enclosed zoos in Europe and they are being natured to adopt to the free life in the wilderness of savannah grasslands of akagera national park.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is showing success in its efforts of making Rwanda a suitable tourist destination and their hard work is paying off. Increasing revenues from tourism is the forehand intention of Rwanda as tourism is still ranked the largest foreign exchange earner in Rwanda with more than 1.3 million tourists who entered Rwanda according to the government statistics and also to conserve the critically endangered rhino species.
Jes Gruner the manager off akagera national park states that “the newly trans-located rhinos will bolster the founder group that was introduced in 2017, contributing to the re-establishment of a robust eastern black rhino population in Rwanda”, he goes to elaborate more saying “This unique achievement represents the culmination of an unprecedented international effort to improve the survival prospects of a critically endangered rhino subspecies in the wild. Their arrival also marks an important step in Akagera ongoing revitalization, and one that underscores the country’s commitment to conservation”
Clare Akamanzi CEO of Rwanda Development Board notes that “the translocation of the five black eastern rhinos rom European zoos to Rwanda will further enhance the natural ecological system in the akagera national park. Today poaching is almost in no existence in our four parks and we are confident that these rhinos will thrive in their natural habitat, they are a positive addition to akagera a park where tourists can now visit to see the big five”.
Introduction of the 5 black eastern rhinos efforts have been undertaken by the African parks which manages akagera national park with partnership from (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA)). The EAZA Ex-situ programme donated the rhinos to the Rwanda Development Board. African parks has successfully embarked on introducing and offering the big five safaris to tourists (lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and rhinos) as evidenced by the re-introduction of lions in akagera which had disappeared 15 years ago. As per now, for any tourist interested in the big five, akagera national park is your best destination.