African Parks has successfully released 17 black rhinos into Liwonde National Park, marking one of the largest international black rhino translocation to date.
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Binton Kutsaira witnessed the arrival of the endangered black rhinos from South Africa and the subsequent release into the Liwonde National Park.
Peter Fearnhead, chief executive officer for African Parks said the translocation was carried out in conjunction with WWF South Africa, Malawi’s department of National Parks and Wildlife and Ezemveko KZN Wildlife.
“Our shared vision is to bolster Malawi’s existing rhino population and to support regional efforts to conserve this critically endangered species,” said Fearnhead.
He said the rhinos were quarantined in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa for six weeks before being flown to Lilongwe on Wednesday.
“We are moving two of Liwonde’s existing rhinos to Majete Wildlife Reserve today, as well as moving another rhino from Majete to Liwonde, all in an effort to improve genetic diversity in these two parks and create a healthy population of rhinos for Malawi,” he said.
Fearnhead said Safari Parks has put in place robust measures to protect the animals which include aerial surveillance, daily ranger patrols and the integration of the most advanced technology to enable their live-time tracking.
He said each rhino has been fitted with a new GPS sensor device provided by Smart Parks, allowing Safari Parks teams to accurately monitor the rhino activity and location 24 hours a day.