30 Massive White Rhinos Ride a Boeing 747 in ‘First of Its Kind’ Conservation Effort
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Thirty white rhinos were loaded into a Boeing 747 this weekend and flown from South Africa to Rwanda in the biggest-ever translocation of the 1.5- ton animals. “All the rhinos were slightly sedated to keep them calm and not aggressive or trying to get out of the crates,” Jes Gruner, who oversaw the effort for the conservation group African Parks, told The Guardian. The move, which took three years to organize and involved more than 60 tons of giant mammals and their supplies, was part of an unprecedented conservation mission to protect the near-threatened species from poachers and spread them across the continent. The animals—19 females and 11 males—have been re-homed at the Akagera national park, where the conservation group hopes they will breed and strengthen the species. “We’re starting with 30, but this could grow. Akagera could be a home for easily 500 or 1,000 white rhino in the future,” Gruner said.