On a recent translocation project that would see the introduction of seven critically endangered black rhinos into Zinave National Park in Mozambique, a team of wildlife vets and other specialists prepare for an important yet tough day ahead.

Today the capture operation begins, where the team will aim to catch seven feisty black rhinos in Manketti Nature Reserve in South Africa. If you are an avid viewer of Peace Parks TV, you may remember seeing the placid temperaments of the white rhinos displayed during a similar translocation project that took place a couple of months ago. Unlike their fellow two-horned relatives, black rhinos tend not to be nearly as calm – in fact, they tend to be rather chaotic, short-tempered, and full of attitude.

Conservation Solutions’ Kester Vickery has worked with hundreds of rhinos, yet when working with black rhinos, his general rule of thumb is to ‘expect the unexpected’. Due to their ill-tempered manner, it is important that the team takes extra care when handling these beasts.

A few thorns and scratches later, all seven black rhinos are successfully loaded into their specially-designed crates. These are then loaded onto trucks, which will transport the rhino to their temporary holding facility, or boma, where a team of experts will monitor them over the next couple of weeks. This is an important step to ensure they are in the best possible condition to endure the long and arduous journey to Zinave National Park.

Both black and white rhino have been extinct in Zinave for over four decades, with both populations having suffered a dramatic decline at the hands of illegal poaching syndicates throughout Africa. With strong security measures now in place, a suitable expansive habitat and under the care of dedicated conservationists, Peace Parks Foundation is working alongside Exxaro Resources and Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC) to ensure that a safe haven for both the black and white rhinos has been created so that future generations will be able to marvel at these incredible creatures.

Make sure to watch Peace Parks TV this week to see all that a black rhino translocation entails.