Black Rhinos to Serengeti - Tanzania.
Good news, during our visit to Serengeti during May 2008, there were none of these magnificent animals in the Park, only 26 in the Ngorongoro Crater, of which we saw only one, the others were in areas not normaly visited by tourists.
Jakaya Kikwete celebrates rhinos' homecoming
From DAILY NEWS Reporter in Ngorongoro, 22nd May 2010 @ 22:00,
PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete said here that each black rhino in the country is assigned a bodyguard like him to save the animals from extinction.
Speaking during handing over ceremony of six black rhinos out of 32 from South Africa at Seronera airstrip, Ngorongoro District on Friday evening, President Kikwete said all 26 black rhinos existing in the country have individual guards.
According to the president, black rhinos are among the most treasured wild animals and favourites of tourists. Most tourists leave the country happy after seeing them.
President Kikwete said it was saddening that black rhinos were being killed for stupid reasons, including beliefs that powder from their horns could enhance sexual prowess.
Population decline of the animals has been tremendously accelerated in the last decade by poaching to meet demand for rhino horn from Arab and Asian countries, and it is rapidly approaching extinction.
The president observed that a number of black rhinos in the country plummeted from 10,000 in 1960s to less than 1,000 in 1990s.
"We had a big population of black rhinos to an extent we were issuing licences for hunting and relocation ... such a decline has given us a lesson," he stressed.
President Kikwete opened his heart before the crowd when he said that despite having several hobbies, his passion for wildlife is unbeaten.
"I love basketball and I once played it, I love music and I used to dance in halls but now protocol cannot allow me to do that. It's also not a secret that I'm ardent fan of soccer.
"But with all this, none can deny my passion for wildlife," he told over 300 people who attended the historic event.
On her part, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mrs Shamsha Mwangunga, said that the 1993 Rhino Management Plan would be reviewed to further protection to the endangered species.
"We've done our homework to make sure that poachers will have no chance as they had in 1980s and 1990s to kill the poor animals," she stressed.
According to Mrs Mwangunga, number of black rhinos was 26 and will now reach 58 after relocation of 32 rhinos from South Africa.
She said that each black rhino had cost between 8,500 and 9,000 US dollars to be repatriated to Tanzania.
The South African Minister for Environment, Ms Bulyelwa Sonjica, said that the relocation of the animals signifies the strong relations between the two countries.
She noted that Tanzania was occupying a special space of hearts of South Africans as many of them stayed or studied in Tanzania during the liberation struggle.
In 1962, seven black rhinos were relocated to South Africa from East Africa and the animals increased to 61 todate, out of them 32 will be relocated to Tanzania.
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
Convenor of the AIKONA Group.
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
Done 142 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.