Rhino dies en route to Tanzania

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Rare black rhino dies while being flown 7,000 miles from UK to Tanzania

BY JIMMY NSUBUGA, METRO, 29 JUNE 2019

Zambezi the black rhino has tragically died while being flown to the Serengeti. The rhino, 17, was travelling from Port Lympne, a wildlife reserve in Kent, to Tanzania as part of a programme to re-populate the region in Africa.

Sadly he didn’t make the gruelling plane journey
and his cause of death is now being investigated by the Aspinall Foundation,
which ran Port Lympne. Its chairman Damian Aspinall said: ‘Like everyone at The
Aspinall Foundation, I am shocked and devastated by the loss.

‘We do not yet know what caused his death,
but we will, of course, carry out every examination and enquiry possible to see
if there are lessons to be learned.’

The death is a major blow to the black
rhino species, which is in danger of becoming extinct due to dwindling numbers.
It’s thought there are now only around 5,000 black rhinos left in the world,
partly due to poachers who hunt them for their tusks. Aspinall Foundation said
the movement of rhinos was not uncommon. Zmabezi was travelling with a team
from the Grumeti Fund Reserve, together with one of his dedicated keepers and a
vet from Africa.

A spokesperson for the foundation added:
‘Nineteen black rhinos have been successfully moved from Europe by air to safe
havens around the world in the last few years.

‘The Aspinall Foundation itself has already
successfully translocated eight black rhinos to Africa from its Kent wild
animal parks, which has assisted in boosting the dwindling population of black
rhino that are registered as critically endangered in the wild.

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

‘We do not yet know what caused his death, but we will, of course, carry out every examination and enquiry possible to see if there are lessons to be learned.’

This article was published by the Metro. Read the original here.

Caption to main image: Zambezi, the black rhino dies en route to Africa. © Metro

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