R.I.P. Zambezi; Sad News As Male Black Rhino Dies While Being Relocated From The UK To Tanzania


It is with heavy hearts that WAN shares the devastating news that Zambezi, a male black rhino from the Port Lympne Reserve in the UK has died while in transit to what would have become his new home in Tanzania.

Tragically, Zambezi reportedly died last week while onboard a plane that was traveling from Kent to Tanzania.

The relocation effort was in partnership with the Grumeti Fund and the Tanzanian government, as part of a program to repopulate the Serengeti with black rhino.

As per a blog post on The Aspinall Foundation website, Zambezi was accompanied by a team from the Grumeti Fund Reserve, one of his dedicated keepers and a vet from Africa that has experience in moving rhinos and other large animals.

As per the post, the movement of large animals and rhino in particular is not uncommon, with 19 black rhinos having been successfully moved from Europe by air to safe havens around the world in the last few years.

The Aspinall Foundation works in some of the world’s most fragile environments to save endangered animals and return them to the wild. The nonprofit organization has already successfully translocated 8 black rhinos to Africa from its Kent wild animal parks. The Aspinall Foundation has assisted in boosting the dwindling population of black rhinos which are critically endangered in the wild.

In addition, these rhinos have successfully mated and are responsible for the birth of at least 15 calves in the last 24 years.

“Like everyone at The Aspinall Foundation, I am shocked and devastated by the loss,” Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation said in a statement. “The work of our foundation in breeding critically endangered species and returning as many as possible to protected areas in the wild will continue,” Aspinall said, “It is my firm belief that these animals do not belong in captivity. Our long-term goal is for all zoos to be phased out.”

Over the past few years, The Aspinall Foundation has also released a range of  species including: 49 Javan langurs, 9 Javan gibbon, 11 European bison and over 60 western lowland gorillas back into their natural habitat.

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