Heartbreaking News! 2 Black Rhinos Found Dead Months After Relocation From South Africa To The Republic Of Chad

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As reported by WAN earlier this year, six critically endangered black rhinos were translocated to a national park in Chad from South Africa, to reintroduce the species after a nearly 50-year absence.

Tragically, the Governments of South Africa and the Republic of Chad, along with African Parks and SANParks, confirmed yesterday that  two of the six relocated black rhinos died after their carcasses were recently discovered in Zakouma National Park.

The rhinos had been held in bomas in the national park for two months after their arrival in Chad on May 4th, before being released into a temporary sanctuary for another two months to enable their acclimatisation to the environment.

In late August, the sanctuary fence was removed and the rhinos were allowed to roam freely in the park where they continued to be monitored constantly. The carcasses of the rhinos, a bull and a cow, were discovered on Monday of last week.

“We can confirm that these two rhinos were not poached. However, the exact cause of death is not yet known,” noted a joint statement. “A specialist veterinarian was dispatched and is now on site in Zakouma National Park in order to conduct a postmortem that will provide more information on the cause of death and assess the situation to advise on further actions. Details of this will be made available once the cause has been confirmed.”

The other four animals are reportedly still alive and are being closely monitored.

Consultations between the Governments of the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Chad, including SANParks and African Parks, are underway to establish the cause of death of the two rhinos and to take any necessary precautionary actions to avert a similar occurrence with the remaining four animals.

The translocation took place in terms of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries on the reintroduction of black rhinos in Chad, undertaken to restore critical biodiversity and aid the long-term conservation of the species on the continent.

There are only an estimated 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild in Africa.

As per The South African, the last western black rhino was recorded there in 1972, after decades of poaching pushed both subspecies to local extinction. The animal was re-introduced to Rwanda in 2017.

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