For a rhino translocation to be a success, every little detail must be in place. It takes a lot of planning.
First, RCB and our partners put together a team to capture the rhinos and bring them back to Botswana. We book a vet, a game capture team, a truck driver and security for the precious rhinos.
A translocation involves long hours, sometimes days and nights without sleep, no showers, cold food and even colder night temperatures, so it’s important that everyone involved has passion, professionalism, commitment and a sense of humour.
Through the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, we request the use of the Botswana Defence Force’s C130 Hercules aircraft, for which RCB covers the costs. Then, fitting around troop deployments, try to find a date that suits everyone.
As national rhino coordinator for Botswana, Map has the important responsibility of filling out CITES permits and customs forms, and requesting exit permits. Rhinos are highly endangered animals and their relocation from one country to another is carefully regulated.
We procure field rations for ourselves, the game capture team and Botswana Defence Force – and lucerne and high protein conditioning pellets for the rhino to fatten them up.
Then we inform local officials about the rhinos’ arrival so that they can welcome Botswana’s precious new charges as the Hercules touches down on the airstrip.
But first, we must catch the rhinos…