Wilderness Safaris, in partnership with the Botswana, South African and Zimbabwean Governments, has successfully completed the largest-ever cross-border translocation of critically-endangered black rhino. Over the past 12 months, the partnership has managed to move no less than 1% of the total global population of this highly-threatened species into a safe haven in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. In an unprecedented gesture of state and private sector collaboration, the aircraft, along with expert crew, was provided by the Botswana Defence Force. The project also stands out in terms of the pro-active roles the various Governments have played in ensuring its success.
As a result, the project bears the daunting responsibility of constant monitoring and protection of what is now a population of continental significance. This important work continues to be undertaken by Wilderness Safaris’ Rhino Monitoring Officers, the Botswana Defence Force and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks’ specialised Anti-Poaching Unit.
Botswana continues to step up its efforts in the fight against wildlife crime, as witnessed by the Botswana Defence Force’s declaring the protection of the country’s wildlife as its “main mission” in an upgrading of its Mission Statement . Earlier this year, the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism secured a budget from Parliament towards recruiting, equipping and training a new 50-man specialist “rhino squad”, whose sole duty will be to patrol and protect Botswana rhino. This indicates the serious commitment of the political leadership in Botswana and the security agencies charged with the protection of the rhinos to pursuing the stated mission.
Or Click here to watch a short, inspirational video on the Botswana Rhino Conservation Project.