24 Mar Welgevonden Game Reserve provides sanctuary to more black rhino
On Friday 19th March 2021, the Welgevonden Conservation Team released several new black rhinos onto the Reserve. Heavy persecution of these animals by poaching syndicates in their previous reserve led to the drastic decision to move the rhino to a more secure location on Welgevonden Game Reserve.
Since 2015 Welgevonden has been operating a “rescue rhino” programme, allowing game farms and properties who are unable to provide the necessary measures to protect their rhino, the opportunity to find sanctuary for their animals on Welgevonden Game Reserve. Welgevonden security measures and continuous monitoring allow rhino to do very well on the Reserve and this has put Welgevonden at the forefront for the conservation of white rhino.
There was a strong desire for the Reserve to offer refuge to black rhino as well as white rhino. There are approximately 5,000 black rhinos left in Africa and therefore acquiring black rhino proved difficult. After providing refuge to an initial small group of black rhino a couple of years ago, concerns regarding the suitability of the habitat and available food resources on the Reserve were quickly quelled, with this research currently forming the subject of an MSc project. There seems no doubt that a viable population can thrive on Welgevonden.
The introduction of the new black rhino means Welgevonden now has the privilege to be able to further contribute to their conservation in South Africa. The Reserve endeavours to continue to be a stronghold for these precious animals in the future as a viable breeding population establishes.