Tanzania expects to import 36 black rhinos from South Africa this year to boost the population of the endangered wildlife species in the country.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Shamsa Mwangunga, said the government currently does not know the exact number of rhinos still surviving in the country and warned that the species are in increasing danger of being wiped out altogether. Ms Mwangunga said the black rhinos to be imported from South Africa will comprise equal numbers of males and females (18 each).
She said they will initially be sent to one of the country's many national parks, and later distributed to other national parks.
The minister explained that the rhinos will start arriving in Tanzania from South Africa in August. She said South Africa will be donating the animals to Tanzania as a gift in appreciation of the historical bilateral ties between the two countries.
The number of black rhinos in Tanzania dropped to 35 earlier this year. Only 31 of the remaining rhino are natives of the Serengeti National Park.
In recent attempts to protect the species, Tanzania National Park received a donation of three black rhino from the United Kingdom. During the handing over ceremony UK's High Commissioner to Tanzania, Diane Corner emphasized that her country and Tanzania share a very common interest to reserve the black rhino.