“A South African software company has floated an idea to Pat Condy of Fossil Rim, Charly Seale of the Exotic Wildlife Association, and ranchers from Texas and South Africa, that may save endangered white rhinos. Dubbed Rhino1000, the idea is in the early stages, and will be quite costly, but could bring 1000 rhinos to the USA in an unprecedented effort at conservation through captive breeding.” ~ Andrew Wyatt
With the white rhinos of South Africa faced with the rapidly escalating threat of poaching at a rate of about four per day, likeminded locals and people across the Atlantic have decided to take action.
The Rhino1000 initiative is in its infant stages after being floated as an idea by the South African software company GroupElephant.com to the USA Exotic Wildlife Association (EWA) – many members of which own exotic wildlife ranches in Texas. Essentially, the name references the desire to help alleviate the rhino poaching epidemic by eventually building a population of 1,000 white rhinos from South Africa on the safer private Texas lands. Eventually, the plan calls for rhinos to be returned from Texas to South Africa.
South Texas quite closely resembles rhino habitat in South Africa in terms of landscape and climate, thus it became a focal point for Rhino1000.
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I think this is a fabulous idea. Increasingly we need to find creative ways to rescue endangered species. The only concern, obviously, is potentially impinging upon habitats of other endangered species. But if done carefully and monitored closely, I believe you have found a great solution for the white rhino. I’ve long wondered if something similar could be done for the giant panda. Creating novel habitats in new places holds much promise, I believe, and potentially moves us further away from the traditional zoo concept by providing these species new native ranges. Would it not be wonderful if one day we were to resurrect the Great North American Serengeti…