Flamingo Land critically endangered black rhino to be flown 6,000km to Rwanda

Olmoti.
Olmoti.

A black rhinoceros from Flamingo Land Resort is one of five which will make the 6,000km journey to Rwanda on Sunday in a bid to protect the future of the species.

The rhino, called Olmoti, will be flown to Akagera National Park in the largest ever translocation of rhinos from Europe to Africa.

The journey will begin at Safari Park Dvůr Králové in the Czech Republic where all five animals have been gathered since November.

All five rhinos have undergone months of sensitisation to prepare them and minimise stress to ensure the safest journey possible, which will be approximately 30 hours long.

During the voyage, the animals will be inside custom-made crates and fed and watered regularly.

The move is part of a unique collaboration between the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the Government of Rwanda and conservation NGO African Parks.

The rhinos will ultimately be released into their new and wild home.

Fewer than 5,000 wild black rhinos and only 1,000 Eastern Black Rhinos remain in Africa; their future is severely threatened by poaching for the illegal demand for their horns.

This translocation project represents an urgent and valuable opportunity to expand the range and protection of the black rhino, and demonstrate how captive rhinos can help supplement and repopulate wild populations within secure landscapes.

Mark Pilgrim, programme coordinator for black rhino at the EAZA and CEO of Chester Zoo in the UK, said: “Large scale cooperation between EAZA zoos has resulted in a healthy, sustainable population of Eastern Black Rhino.

“This means we can now take a major step towards protecting the future of the species in the wild.”

Click here to see where Olmoti is going to live.