Black rhinoceroses fly towards their freedom
A remarkable animal transportation recently occurred at Schiphol Airport (The Netherlands). Three black rhinoceroses from the Czech Zoo Dvůr Králové arrived at Schiphol after sixteen hours in a truck, to continue their journey by plane to a reserve in Tanzania.
The journey to their final destination took another thirty-six hours. The animals were transported in transportation caskets while conscious, because sedation causes to much stress in rhinoceroses. The relocation had been prepared for three years by, among others, representatives of the Suzuki Rhino Club, people from Dvůr Králové and the Mkomazi National Park. The animals were supported by an experienced rhinoceros veterinarian and two caretakers. The rhino doctor, South African Pete Morkel, has supported more than five hundred rhinoceroses during their journeys and is considered the most experienced rhinoceros veterinarian.
The Suzuki Rhino Club initiated the relocation of the rhinos. For years, this foundation has been working for the preservation of the black rhinoceros in Tanzania by, among other things, collecting money for the black rhino project in the Mkomazi National Park. This preservation is much needed. In 1960 there were still 100.000 black rhinos in Africa. In 2008 there were only 4000. The foundation purchased the animals, paid for their transportation and donated the animals to the park.
At the moment the park already has nine black rhinos in an enclosed area of about 45 km2. With the arrival of the three Czech rhinos the gene pool of the park will be expanded and inbreeding will be prevented.