Endangered rhinos enjoy home comforts in Tanzania

5th Dec 2012

The wilds of Africa are now home to three critically-endangered black rhinos recently given the royal seal of approval at a British animal park.

The animals were living at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent, where they were visited by the Duke of Cambridge earlier this year. The Duke hand-fed one of the rhinos, called Zawadi, and also met the others, Grumeti and Monduli.

But video footage has now been released of their journey from the park to their new home - a heavily protected reserve in Tanzania.

Damian Aspinall, Port Lympne owner, spelt out the philosophy behind returning the rhinos 'home'.

"The idea that we should just breed these animals and keep them in zoos and wild animal parks for the rest of their lives makes no sense," he said. "To breed these animals in captivity, the end game has to be to return them home."

Other similar re-introductions have been carried out by the Aspinall Foundation, which works to prevent some of the world's most endangered species from dying out.

Officials believe the Mkomazi reserve in Tanzania will help protect the rhinos.

In preparation for their African adventure, the trio underwent weeks of training. This included a gradual change to their diets and acclimatising to the company they will expect to find in Africa, by spending time among zebras, giraffes and wildebeests in at the Kent park.


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