"In a bid to secure the future of the near threatened species, 30 animals have been driven, flown and finally rehomed in Akagera national park"
"Getting stuck into the in-flight wine wasn’t an option for the 30 passengers flying overnight from South Africa to Rwanda. Crew members instead worked to keep the first-time air travellers placid and problem-free. The last thing anyone wanted was a 1.5-ton rhino on the rampage aboard a Boeing 747.
“All the rhinos were slightly sedated to keep them calm and not aggressive or trying to get out of the crates,” said Jes Gruner, of conservation organisation African Parks, who oversaw the largest single rhino translocation in history this weekend. “The rhinos weren’t sedated on the plane in the sense they were totally lying down, as that’s bad for their sternums. But they were partly drugged, so they could still stand up and keep their bodily functions normal, but enough to keep them calm and stable.”
The 30 white rhinos arrived at their new home, Akagera national park in eastern Rwanda, yesterday. It is hoped Akagera will become a new breeding stronghold to support the long-term survival of the species. Down to an estimated 18,000 animals across Africa, white rhinos are classified by the IUCN as near threatened, with numbers in decline largely due to poaching, driven by demand for their horns."