The return of the rhino
Issue 5 (November 2009) Four young rhinos called Unongo, Koshi, Fiona and Appaloosa, have been moved from the far north of Namibia to the country’s far south.

 

It’s been two hundred years since rhinos roamed close to Fish River Canyon, but recently four adults were relocated from Etosha and Damaraland, writes Sven-Eric Kanzler.


In the late sixties there were just ninety rhino left in the whole of Namibia. A series of conservation measures ensured there are now well over a thousand, and a carefully- monitored government programme is re-introducing rhino to areas of the country where they are still extinct. Gondwana Canon Park at Fish River Canyon is one of those areas.


“We got exactly what we wished for – two males and two females, healthy, strong and just the right age,” says delighted Canon Park manager Danie Brand.


Soon after the release, everyone got a big fright. Koshi was missing. “Koshi is a really crafty one. In a small dry riverbed he had lifted the fence with his horn and squeezed through underneath. We’ve since heard he was known for this trick in western Etosha,” says Danie.


Koshi was finally sighted next to a waterhole.  He was still within Canon Park, but outside the designated ‘rhino zone’. Since there are enough plants for him to eat on that side of the fence too, he was left there. A strong-willed rhino is not to be messed with.

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