18-19 August 2018, two very special days for Wildlife Vets Namibia. We did our first rhino translocation by plane… And even more special, it was the first re-introduction of rhinos into the western part of the DRC! Since 2017 Wildlife Vets Namibia (Ulf and Wicus) have been involved in a major wildlife reintroduction project to a reserve in the DRC. One of the medium to long-term plans was to re-introduce rhinos back into the area… And we did it!
We captured eight rhinos on a Namibian game farm. The procedure went as followed: The rhino was immobilized from a helicopter, before it goes down a face-mask is placed over its eyes to keep it docile and manageable. Once the rhino was down we took various samples and we micro-chipped them (DNA and microchips for trace-ability in case of poaching). All animals were checked for good health. Once we were done with this, the rhino was partially reversed, to enable it to stand and be walked into one of our specialized rhino crates. Once in the crate, the rhino was tranquilized, and fully reversed. The crate was then loaded onto a flatbed truck. The same procedure was repeated for the second rhino, and so they were captured and taken in pairs to the trucks that would eventually transport all eight of them to the Hosea Kutako International Airport.