The Rwandan government is planning to import young rhinoceros following an alleged extinction of the wild species in its national Akagera Park, an official source revealed on Wednesday.
Manager of the Akagera National Park, Jes Gruner, said the rhinos would be imported from South Africa and Kenya.
“After a recent importation of seven lions from South Africa, we are now proposing to import rhinos caught in the wild in Kenya and South Africa, to distribute them into Akagera national park,” Gruner said.
The last black rhino in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park, some 100-km east of Kigali, died in 2006, he said.
The government was also negotiating with the International Fund for Animal Welfare for funding in conservation projects, he added.
“We are keeping good contacts with the branch of this Nairobi-based institution and we hope that these talks will produce good results,” he said.
This comes a few weeks after the government has imported seven lions from South Africa to the Akagera Park (Est).
Officials say they hope that the return of these endangered animals can contribute to the natural balance of the ecosystem, and boost tourism.
The Akagera Park, established in 1934 along the Rwandan-Tanzanian border, boasts varied species of wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, leopards, gazelles, zebras, snakes, crocodiles and panthers. Enditem