Zimbabwe says it is re-introducing rhinos to its second-biggest wildlife park, Gonarezhou. The action marks the first time that the sanctuary will be home to rhinos in 30 years, the park’s authority said on Thursday.
Gonarezhou, which means ‘home of the elephant’ in the Shona language, is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park with South Africa’s Kruger National Park and Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park.
According to a report by Reuters, Tinashe Farawo, the spokesman for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, said black and white rhino would be introduced in Gonarezhou soon.
Zimbabwe now has about 1,000 rhinos after poaching decimated its numbers three decades ago, Farawo said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa wrote on Twitter that the re-introduction of rhinos in Gonarezhou was “truly a momentous conservation achievement.”
In 1991, poachers savagely wiped out the rhino population in Gonarezhou.
Today, Zimbabwe is reintroducing black and white rhinos to the region.
Truly a momentous conservation achievement! 🇿🇼 https://t.co/Xf9gKu2VGW
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) May 13, 2021
The rhino is targeted by poachers and its horns, sold mostly in Asia, are believed to treat issues from cancer to clearing toxins and curing hangovers.
Farawo would not say how many rhinos would be reintroduced to Gonarezhou. Zimbabwe has the fourth-largest population after South Africa, Namibia and Kenya.