Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations officer Sakabilo Kalembwe stated that DNPW made several attempts to herd the rhinos back to the park but they continued to drift further away into apparent hot poaching spots in Katombora and Kazungula.
“It was at this moment when the scale of threats of poaching and safety of the animals became more apparent that the department and other well-wishers put resources together to have the elusive rhinos safely returned to the park,” Kalembwe stated.
“The Wildlife Veterinary Unit of DNPW was called in from Chilanga to quickly capture the rhinos and translocate them to the park. The unit expertly immobilized the rhinos, loaded them on truck and transported them back into the park where they were released.”
He stated that the two have since joined the other rhinos in the park.
Kalembwe disclosed that Mosi Oa Tunya National Park has a total of 10 white rhinos.
He stated that during their stray, the rhinos were constantly monitored and guarded by the Wildlife Police Officers (WPO) of the rhino monitoring team.
“It is not clear why the rhinos left the park but the diminished natural food resources (due to drought/climate change) in the park cannot be ruled out despite the provision of supplementary food like hay and Lucerne,” stated Kalembwe.
“The Department is encouraged by the vigilance and concerns raised by the public to have the animals returned to the safety of the National Park. DNPW would also like to thank the well-wishers that came forth at short notice to provide their support.”