Kigali, Rwanda, 15 April 2020: The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), African Parks and the Government of Rwanda sadly confirm that one of the five Eastern black rhinos reintroduced into Akagera National Park on 24th June 2019 has died.

Manny, the elder of the two male rhinos that was born in Safari Park Dvůr Králové, died on 10th February 2020. We can confirm that the rhino was not poached. The evidence suggests a digestive tract disorder, but a final cause of death has not yet been concluded. We are awaiting further laboratory results to provide additional clarity, but with major restrictions in place globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unlikely that we will receive these results over the short-term.

The rhino was being closely monitored on a daily basis by a specialist tracking team and was being provided supplementary feed to support his continued adjustment. After detecting a sudden deterioration in his health and feeding behaviour, park management immediately consulted with veterinarians, but he unfortunately succumbed before a veterinary intervention could be made. The four remaining animals have continued to be monitored intensively and are reported in good health.

Translocations are an essential tool to boost species populations in the wild, but naturally involve a degree of risk as animals adapt to novel conditions in their new environments. To ensure the wellbeing of these rhinos, every precaution was taken throughout the translocation process and followed thorough planning by highly experienced veterinary, translocation and park management teams, in line with International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) guidelines. This group of rhinos is an important contribution to ongoing restoration efforts which are helping to build a sustainable and secure wild population of the species in Akagera National Park.

An update will be provided once the histopathology result is received. More information about the project can be found here.

For media enquiries, please contact:

African Parks: Fran Read, [email protected], +27823837558

Rwanda Development Board: Doreen Ingabire [email protected]

European Association of Zoos and Aquaria: David Williams-Mitchell, [email protected] +31 205200750