South Africa: The world's largest rhino farm bought by an NGO

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PROTECTION 2,000 specimens of the species, decimated by poaching, are sheltered there

South Africa: The world's largest breeding rhino purchased by an NGO

(FILES) A white rhino stands during a guided safari tour at the Dinokeng Game Reserve outside Pretoria, on August 7, 2020. African Parks, which manages 22 protected areas across the continent, says it plans to return 2,000 southern white rhino to the wild over the next 10 years. The species was hunted to near extinction in the late 19th century but gradually recovered thanks to decades of protection and breeding efforts. (Photo by Michele Spatari/AFP) — AFP

The largest rhino farm in the world, located in in South Africa and which shelters 2,000 specimens of the species decimated by poaching, was discovered. redeemed by the NGO African Parks, announced Monday the organization in a press release.

“African Parks has become the new owner of Platinum Rhino, the largest private captive rhino breeding company in the world. “in the world,” the NGO congratulated itself on its achievements. which Prince Harry is linked to and which manages around twenty parks on the continent.

« No offers received » previously

The wealthy South African businessman, John Hume, 81, opened this breeding farm in 2009 on a property with of 7,800 hectares, less than 200 km southwest of Johannesburg.

Drooping under the exorbitant costs of its project aimed at To save the threatened species, he had put his property in the spotlight. at auction in April, saying they were looking for another “millionaire” to take over.

“But no offers were received” received, putting these rhinos in great danger of poaching, according to African Parks, which explains having been “approached” by many people in the conservation sector to find a solution » and received support from the South African government.

Horns more expensive than coke

South Africa is home to nearly 80% of the world's rhino population. The country has become a hotspot for poaching, driven by by Asian demand, where The horns are used in traditional medicine for their supposed therapeutic or aphrodisiac effects.

In 2022, 448 rhinos were killed. killed in the country, according to the government, despite strengthened anti-poaching measures taken in national parks. Rhinoceros horn, composed of keratin, is torn off at the same time. 60,000 dollars per kilo on the market black, more than cocaine.

Put “gradually end” à breeding

During an interview at home Before the auction, Hume had declared to the AFP: have out-of-pocket expenses 150 million dollars over the years, without making a profit, in its ambitious project to save large terrestrial mammals.

African Parks plans to reintroduce them into the wild farmed rhinoceroses, over the next ten years, in particular by transferring them to protected areas in Africa. “This is one of the largest species rewilding projects on the continent”, underlines the NGO, specifying that the objective is “ reduce the risks for the species the future and gradually put an end to the breeding project.