The governments of South Africa, Chad, African Parks and SANParks have confirmed that two black rhino carcasses have been discovered in Zakouma National Park in Chad. The rhino were among a group of six black rhino translocated to Chad from South Africa in May 2018 to bring the species back to the park after almost a 50-year absence.
The rhinos had been held in bomas in the national park for two months after their arrival in Chad on 4 May, before being released into a temporary sanctuary for another two months to enable their acclimatisation to the environment. In late August, the sanctuary fence was removed and the rhinos were free to roam the wider park where they continued to be monitored constantly. The carcasses of two of the rhino – a bull and a cow - were discovered on 15 October.
"We can confirm that these two rhinos (a male and a female) were not poached. However, the exact cause of death is not yet known. A specialist veterinarian was dispatched and is now on site in Zakouma National Park in order to conduct a postmortem that will provide more information on the cause of death and assess the situation to advise on further actions. Details of this will be made available once the cause has been confirmed," a joint statement read.
The other four animals have been confirmed to still be alive and are being closely monitored.