Rhinos can consider themselves lucky to catch a plane to the Okavango Delta, a place where conditions for them are ideal and where the government makes every effort to prevent poaching. Botswana’s biggest treasure is its biodiversity. Thus great attention is paid and efforts are made accordingly to protect relevant areas. One of the most important projects is the protection and conservation of the black rhino and the rare white rhino.
The Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project is a joint initiative of the tour operator Wilderness Safaris, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, Botswana’s Department of Wildlife (DWNP) and the government of Botswana. The aim is to resettle white and black rhinos in the open expanses of the Okavango Delta. The rhino population has fallen sharply, due to the dramatic effects of poaching and hunting for the animal’s horn. “A kilo of ivory is worth 50,000 dollars“, Botswana National Rhino Coordinator Map Ives explained on the big stage in Hall 4.1 at ITB Berlin 2017. “That is why, every eight hours, a rhino dies.“ Reason enough to set up protected areas in the wide open areas of Botswana’s wild, “the safest habitat for any rhino“, as Kai Collins, Group Conservation Manager of Wilderness Safaris, also explained.
Thus, huge efforts are made to transport rhinos from densely populated habitats in various south African countries to a sanctuary in Botswana where they are safe. “Relocating a rhino costs around 45,000 dollars“, said Ives. Money and manpower in particular are needed in order to reduce poaching. At the end of 2016 the project received the celebrity support of Prince Harry, an event extensively covered by the media, who ably lent his help to resettle a rhino that had just covered the journey to its new home.
Hall 20, Stand 106, 130 and Hall 4.1, Stand 200
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