Airlifting Rhinos

Airlifting Rhinos

by
Abby Zimet

Conservationists have found a new way to relocate black rhinos, endangered by poaching, to less-populated parts of South Africa. They swear this method is kinder to the animals. It sure makes for beautifully surreal photos. From the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project and GreenRenaissance.co.za.

From the press release:

A relatively new capture technique was used to airlift some of the rhinos out of difficult or inaccessible areas by helicopter. This entails suspending the sleeping rhino by the ankles for a short trip through the air to awaiting vehicles. "Previously rhinos were either transported by lorry over very difficult tracks, or airlifted in a net. This new procedure is gentler on the darted rhino because it shortens the time it has to be kept asleep with drugs, the respiration is not as compromised as it can be in a net and it avoids the need for travel in a crate over terrible tracks," explains Dr Flamand. "The helicopter translocations usually take less than ten minutes, and the animals suffer no ill effect. All of the veterinarians working on the translocation agreed that this was now the method of choice for the well-being of the animals."

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