Last month, in conjunction with African Parks, Air Charter Service arranged a charter on a Boeing B747-400 to transport 30 white rhinoceroses from South Africa to their new home in Rwanda – it is the largest single rhino translocation ever undertaken.
With funding provided by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a collaboration between the Rwanda Development Board, &Beyond and African Parks the rhinos travelled a total of 3,400 kilometres (2,100 miles) from the Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa to Akagera National Park in Rwanda.
Lyndee du Toit, CEO of ACS Africa, commented: “This move has been in the works for almost three years and we have been involved for more than 18 months, so we are delighted that the operation went off without a hitch. Meticulous planning was needed to ensure the comfort and safety of the animals.
“Given the total number of animals that we had on board, the aircraft had to be aligned with weight limitations and overhang restrictions taken into consideration. Extensive load plans were drawn up to ensure that a mother and calf were loaded together on the same airline pallet, so that they could smell each other.
“This is the third time in recent years that ACS has been involved in transporting these magnificent creatures, but this is by far the biggest movement and we are proud to have been part of making history.”
“Introductions to safe, intact wild landscapes are vital for the future of vulnerable species like white rhino, which are under considerable human-induced pressures,” said African Parks’ CEO Peter Fearnhead. “We’re grateful to our partners for making this historic translocation possible.”