PRETORIA – South Africa’s Environment Minister Edna Molewa and Chad counterpart Ahmat Mbodou Mahamat on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow the translocation of six black rhinos to the central African country.
According to official documents submitted by Chad, the last time a rhino was spotted in the central African country was in 1972.
The motive of the agreement is largely to preserve black rhinos which are slowly lessening due to massive poaching across African game reserves.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, black rhinos are listed as critically endangered species although they are still native to eastern and southern African countries which include Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola and Kenya.
The animals are set to be airlifted to Chad’s Zakouma National Park where they will be preserved and hopefully multiplied.
According to Albi Modise, environmental affairs ministry spokesman, the animals are expected to be airlifted sometime next year around March, April or May.
“With around 5,000 Rhinos left in Africa, it is key for African governments to take serious measures targeted at preserving the animals,” Modise added.
South Africa, which is home to around 20,000 white rhinos and around 1,893 black rhinos, has suffered record poaching in recent years.
Reports say more than 7,100 rhinos in Africa have been killed over the past decade with South Africa being the most affected.