News24

2018-10-24 06:01

One of the six black rhinos that was transported from Addo Elephant National Park to Chad in May this year. Photo: TANYA VAN ZYL

One of the six black rhinos that was transported from Addo Elephant National Park to Chad in May this year. Photo: TANYA VAN ZYL

 

TWO of the six black rhinos transported in May from the Eastern Cape to Chad to relocate the species for the first time in 46 years were found dead.

The South African government, as well as Chad, Sanparks and African Parks confirmed in a joint statement the carcasses of a rhino bull and cow were found in the Zakouma National Park last Monday.

“We can confirm that the two rhinos were not poached, but the cause of their death is still unknown,” said the statement.

A specialist veterinarian is currently visiting Zakouma to conduct post-mortem examinations.

The other four rhinos are still alive and under constant observation.

The group of six black rhinos was transported from the Marakele National Park in Limpopo to the Addo Elephant National Park, 70km outside of Port Elizabeth, in January.

Two black rhinos that were transported from Addo Elephant National Park to Chad in May this year died. Photo: TANYA VAN ZYL

Two black rhinos that were transported from Addo Elephant National Park to Chad in May this year died. Photo: TANYA VAN ZYL

The rhinos were detained in Addo until they were tranquilised on May 4 for the 15-hour flight to Zakouma.

They were detained in Bomas for two months after their arrival at the park in Chad, before they were released in a temporary conservation area for another two months to adapt to their new environment.

The fence of the conservation area was lowered in August and the rhinos were free to explore the greater part of the park.

According to the statement, discussions are being held between the relevant role players to take precautions to avoid a similar incident with the remaining four animals.

Chad used to be the home of black rhinos and white rhinos, but due to poaching, the last rhino was seen in Zakouma in 1972.