African rhinos to be flown to Australia to escape poachers

May 14, 2016 12:15 pm
Shares
South Africa is home to around 20,000 rhinos, around 80 percent of the worldwide population/XINHUA-File
South Africa is home to around 20,000 rhinos, around 80 percent of the worldwide population/XINHUA-File

, JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 14 – A retired South African sales executive who emigrated to Australia 30 years ago is hatching a daring plan to airlift 80 rhinos to his adopted country in a bid to save the species from poachers.

Flying each animal on the 11,000-kilometre journey will cost about US$44,000 (Sh4.4mn), but Ray Dearlove believes the expense and risk is essential as poaching deaths have soared in recent years.

Overview
  • Flying each animal on the 11,000-kilometre journey will cost about US$44,000 (Sh4.4mn), but Ray Dearlove believes the expense and risk is essential as poaching deaths have soared in recent years.
  • The rhinos will be re-located to a safari park in Australia, which is being kept secret for security reasons, where they will become a "seed bank" to breed future generations.
  • The Australian Rhino Project, which the 68-year-old founded in 2013, hopes to take six rhino to their new home before the end of the year.

The rhinos will be re-located to a safari park in Australia, which is being kept secret for security reasons, where they will become a “seed bank” to breed future generations.

“Our grand plan is to move 80 over a four-year period. We think that will provide the nucleus of a good breeding herd,” Dearlove told AFP while visiting South Africa to organise for the first batch to be flown out.

The Australian Rhino Project, which the 68-year-old founded in 2013, hopes to take six rhino to their new home before the end of the year.

Funding – from private and corporate sources – is nearly in place, and the first rhinos have been selected from animals kept on private reserves in South Africa.

“We have got to get this first one right because it’s a big task, it’s expensive, it’s complex,” Dearlove said.

When they are settled successfully in Australia, “then we hopefully will go up in gear,” he added.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Shares

Latest Articles

Most Viewed