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Repatriation of black Rhinos to their native habitat enhances game viewing in the Mbuzi Mawe area of the Serengeti.

Repatriation of black Rhinos to their native habitat enhances game viewing in the Mbuzi Mawe area of the Serengeti.

In an effort to increase rhino populations in the Serengeti National Park and consequently enhance the game park’s status as one of the world’s most celebrated wildlife reserves conservationists, in conjunction with the Tanzanian government, have translocated the first 5 of 32 East African black rhinos from South Africa back to their native habitat.

The new arrivals received a jubilant welcome, not only from the Tanzanian public, but also from the staff and guests of Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp* who, thanks to the camp’s ideal location, will now have the advantage of easily spotting the rare rhino species.

The critically endangered animals were bred from a group that was rescued from the Serengeti and relocated to South Africa to prevent their total extinction as a result of rampant poaching in the 60’s and 70’s which saw their population dwindle from over 1,000 to just 70.

The return of the rhinos is a significant landmark for nature conservation in Tanzania as it will not only help restore one of the Serengeti’s principal big game species but also maintain northern Tanzania as a tourist destination where all of Tanzania’s native flora and fauna can be viewed.

While conservationists have called this the most ambitious wildlife translocation in East Africa in the past 50 years, large-scale translocations of African wildlife are becoming more common. Earlier this year in Kenya, 4 of the world’s last known remaining 8 northern white rhinos were relocated from a zoo in the Czech Republic to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and later, following a drought that caused the death of a large number of herbivores, 500 zebras were translocated to Amboseli National Park to restore the ecological balance.

 

*Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp is managed by the Serena Group of Hotels

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