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Historical Rhino Transfer Goes Successfully

Thirty endangered white rhinos have arrived in Rwanda after a long journey from South Africa in a Boeing 747 with conservationists hailing it as the largest single transfer of the species ever undertaken. The majestic animals, which can weigh up to two tonnes, travelled some 3,400km (2,100 miles) from South Africa’s Phinda Private Game Reserve as part of a programme to replenish the species’ population, decimated by poaching since the 1970s. The rhinos began their 40-hour journey to the new home in Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda following months of preparation, said African Parks, a charity headed by the United Kingdom’s Prince Harry which is involved in the exercise. The southern white rhino, one of two subspecies of white rhino, is now considered endangered with about 20,000 individuals remaining, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It is classified as near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The northern white rhino has all but vanished, with only two females left alive.