Giant swap to help rhino species survive
Zoos SA and Taronga Western Plains Zoo have partnered to exchange Southern White Rhinoceros breeding bulls to ensure breeding success and genetic diversity within the population.
Satara, 29, from Zoos SA Monarto Safari Park, made the trip to Dubbo while Umfana, 27, from Taronga Western Plains Zoo, made the trip to South Australia as part of the scheme.
Last week, rangers and staff embarked on a 13-hour journey to move the 2,000-kilogram rhinos
Monarto Safari Park senior warden Mark Mills said Umfana’s arrival was a vital continuation of the breeding programme.
“I was here when Satara first arrived at Monarto Safari Park and then I was here to load him onto the trailer for the next leg of his trip to Dubbo,” he said.
“It is great to now have Umfana here to expand the gene pool and play an important role in our breeding program for this endangered species.
“He has settled in very well and is now in his new habitat and is very happy and healthy.”
Both bulls traveled well throughout their respective journeys in specially designed crates, thanks to months of careful planning and preparation, said Taronga Western Plains Zoo white rhino keeper Bobby-Jo Vial.
Visitors can now see Umfana near the White Rhino Boma at Monarto Safari Park and keepers will soon introduce her to the female crash; Uhura, Umqali and Savannah.
Southern white rhinos are classified as endangered with approximately 10,000 remaining in the wild.
One of the biggest threats to the population is poaching for the international trade in rhino horn, which has a high value on the black market.
Australia’s most endangered animals