George Maponga in Masvingo
World-acclaimed Gonarezhou National Park in the south eastern part of Zimbabwe will this year become home to rhinoceroses for the first time in almost 30 years as re-introduction of the endangered animal in the habitat is now underway.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) says the introduction of the animals will help scale up Gonarezhou’s profile as an eminent tourist destination in Zimbabwe.
The authority’s spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo refused to divulge the exact number of rhinos that will be translocated to the habitat for security reasons.
Mr Farawo said Zimparks is upbeat about re-introducing the animals, targeted by poachers for their precious horns, would boost interest in Gonarezhou by visitors.
This is the third attempt to stock rhinos in Gonarezhou with the animals having become extinct in the park in the early to mid 1990s owing to rampant poaching.
The extinction of the rhinos in Gonarezhou almost three decades ago was exacerbated by the Renamo war in neighbouring Mozambique which forced the closure of the park to the public only to be re-opened in 1994.