Harare(New Ziana) – President Emerson Mnangagwa on Thursday hailed conservation efforts that have seen Zimbabwe rebuild a healthy rhinoceros population after poachers killed the entire species in Gonarezhou national park, one of the biggest game reserves in the country.
An endangered species, rhinos are targeted by poachers for their horns, which are used as ornaments and are also believed to have medicinal properties in some parts of Asia.
Writing on his official twitter handle, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was on the verge of reintroducing rhinos to Gonarezhou, for the first time since 1991.
“In 1991, poachers savagely wiped out the rhino population in Gonarezhou. Today, Zimbabwe is reintroducing black and white rhinos to the region. Truly a momentous conservation achievement,” he said.
According to a Bloomberg report, at the time they were wiped out, the total number of rhinos in the country fell to just 100, but has now grown to 1 000.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said the animals would be moved soon without divulging the actual numbers.
“We have very good numbers of rhino,” he was quoted saying by Bloomberg.
Gonarezhou National Park is located on Zimbabwe’s southern border and forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park that links Gonarezhou with the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.
Zimbabwe is believed to hold the world’s fourth-largest population of rhinos.