Can Uganda protect the endangered rhino?

By February 16, 2021Communities, Conservation

(Image: As originally published by Sunday Vision.)

Leland Griffith, Sunday Vision | February 11, 2021

The aim of the project: Breeding rhinos for reintroduction into the wild in 11 well-protected national parks. It could take 20-30 years to reach this goal.

Project size: 70 square kilometers in north-eastern Uganda, in an area protected by the Uganda Rhino Fund non-governmental organization. 70 guards are working in the park.

Project partners: The local community will be involved in the project. Farmers can use the lands of the Rhino Box to graze their livestock. The NGO has also built a primary school on their land. The Augsburg Zoo in Germany also supports the project.

The rhinoceros is a highly threatened species. They won their horn prize, which is made with keratin which is a common ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine and is a prime target for poaching. In Uganda, they were previously abundant, but the last specimens were victims of illegal fishing in the early 1980s.

The Uganda Rhino Trust, a non-governmental species conservation organization, is trying to reintroduce the species into the country by raising rhinos that have been brought from other countries. Day and night, rangers monitor and protect the animals so they are not caught again in the protected areas they live in. Meanwhile, the local community benefits from the income generated by their presence, as the rhinoceros attracts many visitors. Can the NGO help make the species popular again in Uganda?