White rhinos return to Mozambique park after 40 years

A Mozambican park welcomed its first white rhinos last week in 40 years after 19 of the threatened animals completed a 1,600-kilometer truck ride from South Africa, conservationists said.

The rhinos were reintroduced to Zinave National Park in southern Mozambique under an initiative to restore wildlife and boost the local economy.

Wildlife in the 4,000-square-kilometer haven was decimated by Mozambique's decades-long civil war, which ended in 1992, and by poaching.

"The return of the rhino allows for Zinave to be introduced as a new and exciting tourism destination in Mozambique," said Werner Myburgh, head of Peace Parks Foundation (PPF), the conservation group that led the project.

Zinave is now the only national park in Mozambique to house all "Big Five" African game animals - elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo - Myburgh said in a statement.

Since 2015, 2,400 animals from 14 species have been released into the reserve.

The rhinoceroses were hauled to Zinave from neighboring South Africa over several days in June, in what the PPF said was the longest-ever transfer of rhinos by road.


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