Subscribe Free
in Air Transport / Features

Etihad Cargo aids return of black rhino to Rwanda

Posted 28 May 2017 · Add Comment

The critically endangered black rhino has returned to the wilds of Rwanda with the help of Etihad Cargo and animal transport specialist Intradco Global.

On behalf of African Parks, a conservation non-profit organisation that manages national parks and protected areas on behalf of governments across the continent, Intradco chartered two Etihad Boeing 777 freighters to transport the 19 black rhinos from Johannesburg to the Rwandan capital, Kigali. Upon touching down at Kigali International Airport (KGL), the rhinos were carefully transferred to trucks to continue the final leg of their journey by road, under police escort.
Ten rhinos travelled on the first flight, and nine on the second, along with the three vets and two attendants who accompanied them for the duration of their entire journey from Johannesburg to Akagera National Park.
The rhinos, which can weigh up to 2,500 kg each, were transported in special pallets which also contained their feed for the journey. The temperature on the aircraft is specified by the vet to ensure the animals do not overheat or become stressed.
The project to return the rhinos took place over the first two weeks of May, and represents a historical moment for the country after the species disappeared in 2007 following decades of widespread poaching.
The complex logistics involved in this remarkable homecoming required the expertise of Intradco’s specialists who spent more than a year planning the journey with Etihad Cargo, who operated the flights. 
Intradco worked closely with African Parks and the Akegara team to ensure all permits and clearances were in place including valid CITES documentation (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) – a requirement when transporting listed species such as black rhino.
Tom Lamb, Intradco project manager, accompanied the animals on both flights and travelled with the team for the five-hour drive to Akegara National Park where they were successfully released.
Commenting on the project, Mr Lamb said: “It is a brilliant achievement to return the extremely rare eastern black rhino to Rwanda after a 10-year absence. There are only 1,000 left globally so moving two per cent of the world's population was a big responsibility and challenge, and an incredible project to be a part of.
 
“It was a privilege to be able to accompany the rhinos on their homecoming and witness their release back into the wild. We would also like to thank Etihad Cargo for their role in operating the two flights and for their meticulous care and attention.”
David Kerr, Senior Vice President Etihad Cargo, said: “We are proud to play this integral role in returning an endangered species to its home. Last year Etihad Airways became one of the first airlines to sign the Declaration of the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products, known as the Buckingham Palace Declaration, as a demonstration of our support for preventing illegal wildlife trade – estimated to be worth up to US $20 billion today. As a key mode of transport for carrying this caught wildlife across borders, it is the responsibility of the aviation industry to take action to prevent this.”
Jes Gruner, Akagera Park Manager, said: “Together with the Rwanda Development Board and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, we have spent the last three years preparing for this historic event, ensuring that the park is safe for the arrival of the rhinos and for their long-term future so they can breed and thrive.
 
“Akagera has transformed since African Parks assumed management in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board in 2010, overhauling law enforcement and reducing poaching to an all-time low in just six years, thus making it safe to bring these eastern black rhinos back home.”


 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

AACO Executive Committee 80th meeting in Beirut

AACO Executive Committee held its 80th meeting in Beirut, Lebanon under the chairmanship of Saleh Al Jasser, Director General of Saudia and the Chairman of AACO Executive Committee.

Oman Air successfully tests crisis procedures

Oman Air has successfully completed a crisis simulation exercise to test the airline's emergency response plans and procedures.

Bahrain all set to unblock the Combi

Visitors to next year's Bahrain International Airshow could well get their first view of the new PEMCO B737-700FC FlexCombi. Barbara Saunders reports.

Turkish Airlines to order 20 + 20 787-9 Dreamliners

During Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to New York to join the United Nations General Assembly, Boeing and Turkish Airlines announced a commitment to order 40 787-9 Dreamliners.

Abu Dhabi Airports achieves 65% increase in operating profit this year

Abu Dhabi Airports has announced that it has achieved 65% increase in earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization (EBIDA)/ operating profit during the January-August period this year compared to the same period in 2016.

University of South Wales to deliver engineering degree courses in UAE

The University of South Wales (USW) is to deliver degrees to aerospace engineering students as a key partner at the UAE's new Dubai South development.

Kuwait Aviation SK1909310118
See us at
DAS BT1105161117Global Aerospace BT28218AIMA Africa 2017AIME BT1204240118DIAC BT1105121117Aviation Show 267291117Aviation Africa BT18418Commercial Aircraft Financing BT2017DASAS BT3006161117