Ten Eastern black rhinos who arrived at Akagera National Park on Tuesday from South Africa, will be released into the park this Wednesday.
After their arrival on Tuesday morning following the 4000-km-long journey from Thaba Tholo Game Ranch in South Africa, the rhinos have been kept in an enclosure to allow them to acclimatise, monitor their health and fit them with radio transmitters to track their movements and ensure their safety.
According to African Parks, which manages Akagera National Park in conjunction with the Rwanda Development Board, other security measures taken to protect the endangered animals are the deployment of an expert rhino tracking and protection team as well as the canine anti-poaching unit, and surveillance by helicopter.
Fewer than 5,000 black rhinos remain in the wild, of which approximately 1,000 are the Eastern black rhino subspecies. The last rhino was spotted in Akagera in 2007.
Ten more rhinos are expected to follow this first batch in the coming weeks, African Parks announced.
Since 2010, African Parks has overhauled law enforcement in the park, reducing poaching to an all-time low in six years and today the park is flourishing. Seven lions were successfully reintroduced in 2015, and their population has grown to 17 today.
“The return of the rhinos to Rwanda's Akagera National Park opens a new chapter in our conservation journey and we are grateful to all our partners who contributed to this achievement,” said Clare Akamanzi, the RDB CEO. “We are fully prepared to welcome them and ensure their safety for the benefit of our tourism industry and the community at large. We couldn't be more excited for their return.”