Over the past two decades, Peace Parks Foundation has been assisting in restoring conservation areas and reviving biodiversity across southern Africa, including southern Mozambique’s national parks.. In 2015, Peace Parks signed a 20-year agreement with Mozambique’s National Association for Conservation Areas to restore, develop, and co-manage Zinave National Park. Established in 1973, Zinave was later ravaged by sixteen years of civil war; however, thanks to ongoing, pioneering rewilding operations, in step with infrastructure upgrades and improved management and security, the park’s first herds of rhino in more than four decades have been safely settling into their new habitat. Rhinos have returned to Zinave thanks to innovative translocations by Peace Parks and partners, from Manketti Game Reserve in South Africa to Zinave — the longest cross-border road transfers of black and white rhino ever undertaken.
This latest translocation in September, the third following last year’s pioneering cross-border rhino translocations, included five black rhinos (classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Species) and five white rhinos (classified as near-threatened by the IUCN Red List of Species).
In our first Peace Parks TV episode, “how to capture a crash”, we offered a glimpse of the capture process now bringing us, at pace, to the next phase of the translocation – the cross-border leg of the journey. Now, the team drives non-stop from South Africa to Mozambique, tasked with safely relocating the rhinos to their new home in Zinave National Park.
The main threat to these endangered animals is poaching, driven by a high demand for rhino horn in illegal markets. The future of rhino is constantly and severely threatened by this devastating trade – an illicit ‘value chain’ feeding a status and traditional medicine market. That’s why our team has implemented additional protective measures with a dedicated security team guarding the convoy while en route.
Given the severity of the threats, the Mozambique Government has been actively involved in combating any potential dangers, with police officials escorting our team through their beautiful country to ensure safe passage.
On the road, pit stops aren’t moments for relaxation and stretching one’s legs. The longer they stay in one place, the higher the risk of potential complications for the animals, as well as higher security risks while they are stationary. Because of this, any unforeseen events on the road are dealt with promptly and efficiently to ensure the convoy gets moving as quickly as possible.
Snack Packs for Rhinos
To ensure the well-being of the rhino, scheduled stops are made to provide food and care. The crates the rhino are traveling in were specially designed so that the rhino could be fed and watered en-route in such a way that they keep their strength up and with minimal stress.
Stay tuned to Peace Parks TV to witness the release of these precious rhinos in Zinave National Park, concluding their historic journey from South Africa to Mozambique.
This rhino translocation is the result of a collaborative partnership between Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC), Peace Parks Foundation, and Exxaro Resources, with the support of the governments of South Africa and Mozambique. Exxaro generously donated the rhinos and has made a substantial contribution to the park’s operational costs, with additional funding provided by Anglo American, the De Beers Group, the Geos Foundation, the German Postcode Lottery, the MAVA Foundation, and private donors.