Press release by African Parks
The Governments of South Africa, Republic of Chad, African Parks and SANParks confirm that two black rhino carcasses have been discovered in Zakouma National Park in Chad.
The rhino were among a group of six black rhino translocated to Chad from South Africa in May 2018 to bring the species back to Zakouma National Park after almost a 50-year absence.
The rhinos had been held in bomas in the national park for two months after their arrival in Chad on 4 May, before being released into a temporary sanctuary for another two months to enable their acclimatisation to the environment. In late August, the sanctuary fence was removed and the rhinos were free to roam the wider park where they continued to be monitored constantly. The carcasses of two of the rhino – a bull and a cow – were discovered in separate locations on 15 October 2018.
We can confirm that these two rhinos (a male and a female) were not poached, however, the exact cause of death is not yet known. A specialist Veterinarian was dispatched and is now on site in Zakouma National Park in order to conduct a postmortem that will provide more information on the cause of death and assess the situation to advise on further actions. Details of this will be made available once the cause has been confirmed.
The other four animals have been confirmed to still be alive and are being closely monitored. Consultations between the Governments of the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Chad, including SANParks and African Parks are underway to establish the cause of death of the two rhinos and to take any necessary precautionary actions to avert a similar occurrence with the remaining four animals.
The translocation was in terms of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries on the reintroduction of black rhino in Chad, undertaken to restore critical biodiversity and aid the long-term conservation of the species on the continent.